How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near Antioch 60002
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Antioch IL is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are considering to make sure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Antioch IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Antioch IL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Antioch IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may 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 offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 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 must also 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 finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Antioch IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Antioch IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 school, 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, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Antioch IL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be a good idea 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Antioch IL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Antioch IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Antioch medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Antioch IL residence. Individuals who have opted 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 concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Antioch IL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check 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 Antioch Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Antioch IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The Pottawatomi Indian Tribe, semi-nomadic hunters who lived in wigwams, inhabited Antioch when white men began to arrive. They fought with the British in the War of 1812 and then with the American settlers in the Blackhawk War of 1832. It was in 1832 that the American Indians began to leave the area, although arrowheads and other remnants of their history can still be found today if one knows where to look. The winding Highway 173 was once an Indian trail and Highway 83 was the Muquonago Trail.
The first permanent white settlement in Antioch was the Gage Brothers' cabin on Sequoit Creek, a tributary of the Fox River. In 1839, Hiram Buttrick built a sawmill along the creek, making Antioch a center of commerce. A replica of the mill has been built a few hundred feet downstream from where it once stood.
The influence of the Gage brothers is important when trying to understand the history and names of the Antioch area, as many local businesses, as well as ACHS sports teams, bear the word "Sequoit." There is no Native American tribe named "Sequoit" or any Native American word for that matter stemming from Antioch's Pottawatomi inhabitants. Though the word "sequoit" has Native American origins, the story behind the name is as complicated as it is historically interesting. Fred Willman explains in his in-depth book examining Illinois high school nicknames, "Why Mascots Have Tales", "The word Sequoit is a form of spelling of the Iroquois Indian word Sa-da-quoit, which was the name the Iroquois Indians gave to a stream that flows through Oneida County in New York state. In the Iroquois language, Sa-da-quoit literally means ‘smooth pebbles in the bed of a stream.’ When white settlers moved into Oneida County, they modified the spelling and pronunciation of the stream to Sequoit Creek." This was later transplanted and modified when the Gage brothers moved from New York State to northern Illinois.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy College near Antioch IL
Picking the ideal physical therapist program is an important first decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you to 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 school help me accomplish 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 selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Antioch IL.
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