Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Rice Lake WI

How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Rice Lake 54868

Rice Lake WI physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Rice Lake WI is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered 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 what the educational options are.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Rice Lake WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Rice Lake 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 previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Rice Lake WI medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. 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 take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

Rice Lake WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become 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. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Rice Lake WI area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and commonly 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several 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 available in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Rice Lake WIWhile not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees 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 necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Rice Lake WI home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Rice Lake WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 choose an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Rice Lake WI physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Rice Lake WI area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to 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 amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Rice Lake WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Rice Lake medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher 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 an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Rice Lake WI residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Rice Lake WI area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn 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 Rice Lake Wisconsin?

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

Rice Lake, Wisconsin

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.70 square miles (25.12 km2), of which, 8.60 square miles (22.27 km2) is land and 1.10 square miles (2.85 km2) is water.[1]

As of 2000 the median income for a household in the city was $34,637, and the median income for a family was $53,056. Males had a median income of $40,450 versus $30,211 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,354. About 6.9% of families and 13.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.4% of those under age 18 and 13.1% of those age 65 or over.

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 8,438 people, 3,936 households, and 2,065 families residing in the city. The population density was 981.2 inhabitants per square mile (378.8/km2). There were 4,239 housing units at an average density of 492.9 per square mile (190.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.2% White, 0.3% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.

Pick the Best Physical Therapy School near Rice Lake WI

Choosing the best physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Rice Lake WI.

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