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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Rochester 53167

Rochester WI physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Rochester WI is an important 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 illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are looking at to make sure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. 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?

Rochester WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Rochester 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, 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 resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Rochester WI health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

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

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may 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 usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having 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 Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Rochester WIAlthough not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to 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 an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Rochester WI residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Rochester WI area and across Wisconsin, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 select an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Rochester WI physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Rochester WI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Rochester WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Rochester medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Rochester WI residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid 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 provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Rochester WI area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Rochester Wisconsin?

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

Rochester, Wisconsin

Rochester is a village in Racine County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 3,682 at the 2010 census. The village is located within the former Town of Rochester. On November 4, 2008, the village of Rochester voted to consolidate with the Town of Rochester.[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 17.74 square miles (45.95 km2), of which, 17.48 square miles (45.27 km2) of it is land and 0.26 square miles (0.67 km2) is water.[1]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 3,682 people, 1,343 households, and 1,069 families residing in the village. The population density was 210.6 inhabitants per square mile (81.3/km2). There were 1,412 housing units at an average density of 80.8 per square mile (31.2/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.8% White, 0.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.8% of the population.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Rochester WI

Deciding on the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. 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 school, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Rochester WI.

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