How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near Arlington Heights 60004
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Arlington Heights IL is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a quality 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 most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Arlington Heights IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment 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 patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Arlington Heights IL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite 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 Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals 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 readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Arlington Heights IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Arlington Heights IL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy 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 colleges within the Arlington Heights IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Arlington Heights IL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Arlington Heights IL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. 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 differ 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 Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Arlington Heights IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Arlington Heights health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Arlington Heights IL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program 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 crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Arlington Heights IL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn 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 Arlington Heights Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Arlington Heights IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Arlington Heights, Illinois
Arlington Heights is a village in Cook County in the U.S. state of Illinois. A suburb of Chicago, it lies about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of the city's downtown. The population was 75,101 at the 2010 census. It is the most populous community in the United States that is incorporated as a "village", although it is not far ahead of its nearby Illinois neighboring villages of Schaumburg and adjacent Palatine.
Arlington Heights is known for Arlington Park Race Track, home of the Arlington Million, a Breeders' Cup qualifying event; it also hosted the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships in 2002. The village is also home to the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, which has one of the largest collections in the state.
Arlington Heights lies mostly in the western part of Wheeling Township, with territory in adjacent Elk Grove and Palatine townships, in an area originally notable for the absence of groves and trees. The General Land Office began selling land here in 1835. In 1853, William Dunton, originally from Oswego, New York, persuaded the Illinois & Wisconsin Railroad to make a stop here, and laid out a town called Dunton. Dunton Avenue, named after William Dunton, is the village's base line that splits addresses east and west, with Campbell Street splitting north and south.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Arlington Heights IL
Picking the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school 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 necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Arlington Heights IL.
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