How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Bunker Hill 62014
Earning a physical therapist degree near Bunker Hill IL is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Bunker Hill IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Bunker Hill IL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Bunker Hill IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 or practical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bunker Hill IL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Bunker Hill IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 choose an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Bunker Hill 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 college options. It may also be a good idea to contact 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 two significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Bunker Hill IL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both excellent 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Bunker Hill IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Bunker Hill medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Bunker Hill 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 concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Bunker Hill IL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bunker Hill Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bunker Hill IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Bunker Hill, Illinois
As Euro-Americans arrived in Macoupin County, the site of the future Bunker Hill was settled in 1830. At that time, the area was known as Wolf Ridge, due to the presence of wolves in the vicinity. The first settler was Elijah Lincoln in 1830, who established a land claim one and a half miles southwest of present Bunker Hill. Shortly after he made his claim, Lincoln and a Mr. Tuttle laid out a town, named Lincoln after the first settler. The earliest post office in the area was established in 1833 a mile south of Lincoln. A school house was built around 1831, and was also used as the meeting hall for the Baptist denomination. The first church in the area was built by the Baptists. The second was the Congregational Church in nearby Woodburn.
In 1834, County Surveyor Luke Knowlton entered 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land that now cover the center of Bunker Hill. On 25 December 1835, Moses True of Salisbury, New Hampshire, John Tilden of Boston, Massachusetts, and Robert Smith of Alton, Illinois visited Lincoln and formed a company to plat a town and improve the surrounding countryside. By 1836, the settlement of Lincoln had been abandoned, prompting Moses and company to establish a new town, which became Bunker Hill in 1837.
At 6:45am CST on 19 March 1948, a tornado that originated in Alton, Illinois blew through Bunker Hill, destroying the majority of the town's buildings and killing nineteen people. Although the tornado was only in town for less than a minute, the destruction was devastating. The downtown business district lost many of its buildings. The streets were impassable due to rubble from the storm. The newly renovated Meissner School was one of few buildings virtually undamaged by the tornado. A first aid station was set up in the school, with a temporary morgue in another classroom. By 9:00 am, ambulances from Alton, Carlinville, Litchfield, and Gillespie arrived to transport the injured to local hospitals. By the end of the day, National Guard units, US Army units, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, American Legion, VFW, and Illinois State Police had arrived to restore order and provide assistance to the citizens of Bunker Hill.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Bunker Hill IL
Deciding on the right physical therapist college is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Bunker Hill IL.
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