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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near Richfield 53076

Richfield WI physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Richfield WI is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients 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 need to receive the appropriate education and training. 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 prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to make sure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Richfield WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Richfield WI private practices, hospitals, 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 previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Richfield WI medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

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

  • Associate Degrees educate 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 be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing 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 most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some 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 offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Richfield WIWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Richfield WI residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Richfield WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing 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 enroll in an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning 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 Richfield WI physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college selections. 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Richfield WI area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study 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 differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have relationships with Richfield WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Richfield healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Richfield WI residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Richfield WI area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Richfield Wisconsin?

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

Richfield, Wisconsin

Pick the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Richfield WI

Selecting the best physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You may want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental 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 fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Richfield WI.

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