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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Racine 53401

Racine WI physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Racine WI is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Racine WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, including Racine WI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

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

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

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

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Racine WIWhile not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work 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 portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Racine WI residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you probably have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Racine WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Racine WI physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Racine 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 confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have relationships with Racine WI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Racine healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Racine WI residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Racine 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 enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Racine Wisconsin?

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

Racine, Wisconsin

Racine (/rəˈsiːn/ rə-SEEN)[8] is a city in and the county seat of Racine County, Wisconsin, United States. It is located on the shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Root River.[9] Racine is located 22 miles south of Milwaukee. As of the 2010 U.S. census, the city had a population of 78,860,[10] making it the fifth-largest city in Wisconsin. Its median home price of $103,625[11] makes it one of the most affordable cities in Wisconsin to buy a home. In January 2017, it was rated "the most affordable place to live in the world" by the Demographia International Housing Affordability survey.[12]

Racine is the headquarters of a number of industries, including J. I. Case (heavy equipment), S. C. Johnson & Son (cleaning and chemical products), Dremel Corporation, Reliance Controls Corporation (time controls and transfer switches), Twin Disc, and Arthur B. Modine (Heat Exchangers). The Mitchell & Lewis Company, a wagonmaker in the 19th century, began making motorcycles and automobiles as Mitchell-Lewis Motor Company at the start of the 20th century. Racine is also home to InSinkErator, the first garbage disposal.[13]Malted milk balls were developed in Racine. Architects of the city included A. Arthur Guilbert and Edmund Bailey Funston. It has several immigrant communities.

Native Americans inhabited the area of Racine as early as 10,000 BCE, but most of the artifacts that have survived, such as the burial mounds in what is now Mound Cemetery, date back only to 500 BCE or later. Historians separate the natives living in the Root watershed at that time into Woodland people, who were more common, and Hopewell people, who were more advanced. After European contact, the Miami and later the Potawatomi expanded into the area, taking part in the French fur trade.

Select the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Racine WI

Deciding on the right physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach 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 field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Racine WI.

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