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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy College near Arcola 61910

Arcola IL physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Arcola IL is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about 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’s Job Description?

Arcola IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Arcola IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Arcola IL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Arcola IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Arcola IL area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Arcola ILWhile not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Arcola IL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Arcola IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Arcola IL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left because of 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 Arcola IL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary 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 supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Arcola IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Arcola health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Arcola IL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify 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 need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Arcola IL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Arcola Illinois?

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

Arcola, Illinois

Arcola is a city in Douglas County, Illinois, United States. The population was 2,916 at the 2010 census. The city was founded in 1855, when the Illinois Central Railroad was built through the county. The railroad itself was responsible for surveying, platting and founding the town.

Arcola is somewhat famous for the Lawn Rangers, a "precision lawn mower drill team" that marches in formation with brooms and lawn mowers while wearing cowboy hats. Every year since 1980, the Lawn Rangers have marched in the Arcola Broom Corn Festival Parade. The event, held the weekend after Labor Day, honors Arcola's position in the late 19th century as a center of broom corn production. The Lawn Rangers were so named because the Grand Marshal of the Parade in 1980 was Clayton Moore, famous as the Lone Ranger, and they were named in his honor. This unique custom was publicized by humor columnist Dave Barry, who marched with the Lawn Rangers in 1995.

Arcola was the birthplace in 1880 of John Barton Gruelle, or "Johnny" Gruelle, who is famous for creating Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, the loveable American dolls and storybook characters. Gruelle used artistic skills learned from his painter father Richard Buckner Gruelle combined with his self-taught writing skills to create stories expressing regional values and aesthetic images. His artistic granddaughter, Joni Gruelle Wannamaker, manages the Raggedy Ann Museum in Arcola.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Arcola IL

Deciding on the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach 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 options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Arcola IL.

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