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

How to Pick a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Bement 61813

Bement IL physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Bement IL is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about 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’s Job Description?

Bement IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, including Bement IL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Bement IL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about 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 prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Bement IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single 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 preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Bement IL area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Bement ILWhile not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bement IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Bement IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Bement IL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Bement IL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Bement IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Bement healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? 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 probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Bement IL home. Students who have opted 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges 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 School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bement IL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bement Illinois?

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

Bement, Illinois

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 1,784 people, 687 households, and 485 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,197.1 people per square mile (850.4/km²). There were 723 housing units at an average density of 890.4 per square mile (344.6/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.37% White, 0.90% African American, 0.22% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 0.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.34% of the population.

There were 687 households out of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.5% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.4% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the village, the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.8 males.

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Bement IL

Selecting the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a rewarding 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 excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish 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 ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Bement IL.

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