Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Plum City WI

How to Select a Physical Therapy Training Program near Plum City 54761

Plum City WI physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Plum City WI is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about 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 is a Physical Therapist?

Plum City WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, such as Plum City WI hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating 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 diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Plum City WI health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

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

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Plum City WIWhile not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Plum City WI home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Plum City WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 select an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Plum City WI physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Plum City WI area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have associations with Plum City WI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Plum City health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Plum City WI residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Help Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Plum City WI area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Plum City Wisconsin?

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

Plum City, Wisconsin

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.04 square miles (2.69 km2), of which, 1.02 square miles (2.64 km2) of it is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.[1]

As of 2000 the median income for a household in the village was $38,438, and the median income for a family was $46,607. Males had a median income of $31,786 versus $23,409 for females. The per capita income for the village was $16,847. About 3.3% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 599 people, 243 households, and 150 families residing in the village. The population density was 587.3 inhabitants per square mile (226.8/km2). There were 262 housing units at an average density of 256.9 per square mile (99.2/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 96.5% White, 0.5% African American, 0.3% Asian, 2.5% from other races, and 0.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.7% of the population.

Select the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Plum City WI

Picking the ideal physical therapy school is an important first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Plum City WI.

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