Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Alsip IL

How to Choose a Physical Therapist Program near Alsip 60803

Alsip IL physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near Alsip IL is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated 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 need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are looking at to make certain they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with 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 the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Alsip IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, including Alsip IL hospitals, health clinics, 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 earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Alsip IL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 Offered

Alsip IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Alsip IL area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may 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 degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and usually 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely 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 USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Alsip ILAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Alsip IL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy 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 colleges within the Alsip IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure 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 therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Alsip IL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Alsip IL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have partnerships with Alsip IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Alsip health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Alsip IL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Alsip IL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Alsip Illinois?

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

Alsip, Illinois

Alsip was settled in the 1830s by German and Dutch farmers. The village is named after Frank Alsip, the owner of a brickyard that opened there in 1885.[5] The village began to grow after the Tri-State Tollway was built there in 1959.

According to the 2010 census, Alsip has a total area of 6.494 square miles (16.82 km2), of which 6.39 square miles (16.55 km2) (or 98.4%) is land and 0.104 square miles (0.27 km2) (or 1.6%) is water.[7]

Alsip is bordered to the west by the villages of Worth and Palos Heights. To the south is Crestwood. Oak Lawn lies to the north. Merrionette Park, Blue Island, and Robbins lie to the east (north-south, respectively). The Mount Greenwood neighborhood of Chicago lies to the north and east.[8]

Choose the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Alsip IL

Selecting the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the colleges 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 following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Alsip IL.

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