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

How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Shawano 54166

Shawano WI physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Shawano WI is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover 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 is a Physical Therapist?

Shawano WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, such as Shawano WI private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Shawano WI health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Shawano WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to practice as 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 degrees that are available in the Shawano WI area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Shawano WIAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Shawano WI home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Shawano WI area and across Wisconsin, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative 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 refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Shawano WI physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant 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 indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Shawano WI area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have associations with Shawano WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Shawano medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized 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 sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few 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 therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Shawano WI residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Shawano WI area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses 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 work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Shawano Wisconsin?

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

Shawano County, Wisconsin

Its name is from a modified Ojibwa term meaning "southern";[3][4] it was the southern boundary of the Ojibwa nation.[5] A Menominee chief named Sawanoh led a band that lived in the area.[6] Many citizens of Shawano believe the lake, county, and city (Town of Shawanaw founded 1853 and changed to Shawano in 1856), were named after Chief Sawanoh. A historical marker placed in 1958 near the lake along Highway 22 states the lake was named as the southern boundary of Chippewa (Ojibwe) territory.

Various historical recordings of the spelling of Shawano include: Sawanoh, Shawanaw, Sharuno, Shabin, Savannah, Savanah... which show the influence of French, German, and English translation (v's, w's, and b's, sounding very similar and thus being recorded incorrectly at times). Similar differences in spelling have been seen in the following versions: Mahican/Mahikan/Maikens tribe or Mohecan/Morhican/Mohican tribe, all referring to the same Algonquian-speaking people.

The federally recognized Stockbridge-Munsee Community (made up of Algonquian-speaking Mahican and Lenape), whose ancestors traditionally lived in the East along the Hudson River Valley, is located in Shawano County. Their reservation encompasses the towns of Bartelme, and Red Springs.

Pick the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Shawano WI

Deciding on the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Shawano WI.

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