How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Alhambra 62001
Getting a physical therapist degree near Alhambra IL is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will provide a quality education and satisfy 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 home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Alhambra IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Alhambra IL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered 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 progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Alhambra IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Alhambra IL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Alhambra IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you select the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, 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 college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’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 organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Alhambra IL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may 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 hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Alhambra IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Alhambra IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Alhambra medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Alhambra IL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally 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 program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Alhambra IL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Alhambra Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Alhambra IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
According to the 2010 census, Alhambra has a total area of 0.768 square miles (1.99 km2), of which 0.76 square miles (1.97 km2) (or 98.96%) is land and 0.008 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 1.04%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 630 people, 209 households, and 145 families residing in the village. The population density was 834.4 people per square mile (320.1/km²). There were 216 housing units at an average density of 286.1 per square mile (109.7/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.73% White, and 1.27% from two or more races.
There were 209 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 5.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.90.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Alhambra IL
Selecting the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Alhambra IL.
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