How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Bellwood 60104
Earning a physical therapist degree near Bellwood IL is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Bellwood IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, 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. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Bellwood IL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Bellwood IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Bellwood IL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Bellwood IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 program, 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. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Bellwood IL physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It might 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 colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Bellwood IL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Bellwood IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Bellwood medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Bellwood IL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bellwood IL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bellwood Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bellwood IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Bellwood is a village in Proviso Township, Cook County, Illinois, United States. Located 13 miles (21 km) west of Chicago's downtown Loop, the Village of Bellwood is bounded by the Eisenhower Expressway (south), the Proviso yards of the former Chicago & Northwestern, now Union Pacific Railroad (north), and the suburbs of Maywood (east) and Hillside and Berkeley (west). The population was 19,071 at the 2010 census.
As of the census of 2010, there were 19,071 people, 6,440 households, and 5,100 families residing in the village. The population density was 8,608.0 people per square mile (3,317.4/km²). There were 6,683 housing units at an average density of 2,801.4 per square mile (1,079.6/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 11.75% White, 81.73% African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.96% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.79% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.94% of the population.
There were 6,440 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 25.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.8% were non-families. 17.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.18 and the average family size was 3.57.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Bellwood IL
Picking the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different campuses to view their facilities and speak with 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 following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Bellwood IL.
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