Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Prairie du Chien WI

How to Choose a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Prairie du Chien 53821

Prairie du Chien WI physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Prairie du Chien WI is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we discuss 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Prairie du Chien WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, including Prairie du Chien WI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Prairie du Chien WI medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for 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 routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Prairie du Chien WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Prairie du Chien WI area:

  • Associate Degrees train 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 GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 complete, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just 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 available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Prairie du Chien WIWhile not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Prairie du Chien WI residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Prairie du Chien WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 may 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 just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Prairie du Chien WI physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program 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 Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Prairie du Chien WI area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have partnerships with Prairie du Chien WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Prairie du Chien health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Prairie du Chien WI residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally 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 program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Prairie du Chien WI area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check 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 as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Prairie du Chien Wisconsin?

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

Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin

Often referred to as Wisconsin's second oldest city,[5] Prairie du Chien was established as a European settlement by French voyageurs in the late seventeenth century. The city is located near the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers, a strategic point along the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway that connects the Great Lakes with the Mississippi.

Early French visitors to the site found it occupied by a group of Fox Indians led by a chief whose name Alim meant chien in French (dog in English).[6][7] The French explorers named the location Prairie du Chien, French for "Dog's Prairie". Originally this name applied only to the plain upon which the settlement is located, but it was later applied to the city as well. The city of Prairie du Chien is located between the Town of Prairie du Chien and the Town of Bridgeport.

The first known Europeans to reach Prairie du Chien were French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, who arrived by canoe on June 17, 1673, discovering a route to the Mississippi River. Later travel between French Canada and the Mississippi River continued to pass through Prairie du Chien, although routes via the Illinois River were also used. In 1685, the French explorer Nicolas Perrot established a trading post in the area as part of the large and lucrative French fur trade industry. After Americans entered the trade in the nineteenth century, John Jacob Astor built the Astor Fur Warehouse, an important building in the regional fur trade, which was centered in Prairie du Chien. The significance of Prairie du Chien as a center of the fur trade did not diminish until the mid-nineteenth century, when European demand declined, as did game stock.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Prairie du Chien WI

Deciding on the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach 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 field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Prairie du Chien WI.

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