How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Beardstown 62618
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Beardstown IL is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Beardstown 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Beardstown IL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, 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 prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Beardstown IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 phased out and is no longer offered 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 Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure 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 a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Beardstown IL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many 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 disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Beardstown IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to make sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Beardstown IL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate 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 help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Beardstown IL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have associations with Beardstown IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Beardstown health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Beardstown IL home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Beardstown IL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Beardstown Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Beardstown IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
According to the 2010 census, Beardstown has a total area of 3.627 square miles (9.39 km2), of which 3.57 square miles (9.25 km2) (or 98.43%) is land and 0.057 square miles (0.15 km2) (or 1.57%) is water.
Beardstown is located on the Illinois River, which plays an important role in the economy and history of the community, and is the site of two grain terminals where farm products are transferred to barges for transport. Hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation along the river contribute to the local economy.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,766 people, 2,172 households, and 1,437 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,692.1 people per square mile (652.9/km²). There were 2,339 housing units at an average density of 686.4 per square mile (264.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.76% White, 0.87% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 7.01% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.90% of the population.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Beardstown IL
Selecting the right physical therapist college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Beardstown IL.
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