How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Astoria 61501
Earning a physical therapy degree near Astoria IL is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college simply 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 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Astoria IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Astoria IL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Astoria IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as 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 programs are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Astoria IL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Astoria IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Astoria IL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Astoria IL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Astoria IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Astoria healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class 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 therapist schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Astoria IL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Astoria IL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours 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 Astoria Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Astoria IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Astoria is a middle-class and commercial neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, bounded by the East River and is adjacent to three other Queens neighborhoods: Long Island City, Sunnyside (bordering at Northern Boulevard), and Woodside (bordering at 50th Street). It is located in Community Board 1, and is patrolled by the New York City Police Department's 114th Precinct. As of 2016[update], Astoria has an estimated population of 78,793.
The area now known as Astoria was originally called Hallett's Cove, after its first landowner William Hallett, who settled there in 1652 with his wife, Elizabeth Fones. Beginning in the early 19th century, affluent New Yorkers constructed large residences around 12th and 14th streets, an area that later became known as Astoria Village (now Old Astoria). Hallett's Cove, incorporated on April 12, 1839 and previously founded by fur merchant Stephen A. Halsey, was a noted recreational destination and resort for Manhattan's wealthy.
The area was renamed for John Jacob Astor, then the wealthiest man in America with a net worth of more than $40 million, in order to persuade him to invest in the neighborhood. He only invested $500, but the name stayed nonetheless, as a bitter battle over naming the village finally was won by Astor's supporters and friends. From Astor's summer home in Hell Gate, Manhattan—on what is now East 87th Street near York Avenue—he could see across the East River the new Long Island village named in his honor. Astor, however, never actually set foot in Astoria.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Astoria IL
Picking the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical 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 have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Astoria IL.
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