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

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Program near Shell Lake 54871

Shell Lake WI physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Shell Lake WI is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to 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 important qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Shell Lake WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Shell Lake WI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Shell Lake WI health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite 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 Therapy Degrees

Shell Lake WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only 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 summaries of degrees that are available in the Shell Lake 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 a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.

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 United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Shell Lake WIAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Shell Lake WI home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Shell Lake WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have received 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 select an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Shell Lake WI physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Shell Lake WI area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have relationships with Shell Lake WI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Shell Lake medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom 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 schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Shell Lake WI residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Shell Lake WI area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Shell Lake Wisconsin?

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

Shell Lake, Wisconsin

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.20 square miles (26.42 km2), of which, 5.81 square miles (15.05 km2) is land and 4.39 square miles (11.37 km2) is water.[1]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 1,347 people, 594 households, and 357 families residing in the city. The population density was 231.8 inhabitants per square mile (89.5/km2). There were 988 housing units at an average density of 170.1 per square mile (65.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.7% White, 0.1% African American, 1.2% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population.

There were 594 households of which 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.9% were non-families. 35.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 22.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.80.

Pick the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Shell Lake WI

Deciding on the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Shell Lake WI.

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