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

How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Ashland 62612

Ashland IL physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Ashland IL is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we cover 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 is a Physical Therapist?

Ashland IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Ashland IL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Ashland IL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Ashland IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Ashland IL area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some 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 available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Ashland ILAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Ashland IL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Ashland IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing 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 school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have excellent 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 refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Ashland IL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Ashland IL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum 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. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Ashland IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Ashland medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching 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 a chance 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 many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Ashland IL home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Ashland IL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative 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 might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Ashland Illinois?

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

Ashland, Illinois

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 1,361 people, 546 households, and 386 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,832.3 people per square mile (710.1/km²). There were 581 housing units at an average density of 782.2 per square mile (303.1/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.60% White, 0.15% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.07% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.22% of the population.

There were 546 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.2% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the village, the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Ashland IL

Picking the best physical therapist school is an important initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to go to different campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Ashland IL.

A Few More Interesting Locations in Illinois

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