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

How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Bridgeport 62417

Bridgeport IL physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Bridgeport IL is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Bridgeport IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, such as Bridgeport IL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Bridgeport IL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Bridgeport IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Bridgeport IL area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually 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 typically a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely 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 offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Bridgeport ILWhile not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bridgeport IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Bridgeport IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, 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 program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Bridgeport IL physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant 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 might indicate that students dropped out 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Bridgeport IL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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 therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Bridgeport IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Bridgeport health care community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Bridgeport IL home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 perhaps 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 usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

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

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bridgeport IL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bridgeport Illinois?

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

Bridgeport, Illinois

According to the 2010 census, Bridgeport has a total area of 1.075 square miles (2.78 km2), of which 1.05 square miles (2.72 km2) (or 97.67%) is land and 0.025 square miles (0.06 km2) (or 2.33%) is water.[4]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 2,168 people, 871 households, and 585 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,024.0 people per square mile (782.3/km²). There were 964 housing units at an average density of 900.0 per square mile (347.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.52% White, 0.46% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.05% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.37% of the population.

There were 871 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.1% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.99.

Choose the Best Physical Therapist College near Bridgeport IL

Selecting the ideal physical therapist school is an important initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Bridgeport IL.

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