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

How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Burbank 60459

Burbank IL physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Burbank IL is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Burbank IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Burbank IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems 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:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Burbank IL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Burbank IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Burbank IL area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom 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 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 existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Burbank ILAlthough not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Burbank IL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Burbank IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 select an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Burbank IL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It might also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction 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 Burbank IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have partnerships with Burbank IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Burbank health care community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher 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 converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Burbank IL residence. Individuals 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Burbank IL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn 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 Burbank Illinois?

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

Burbank, Illinois

Burbank is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 28,925 at the 2010 census. It is located at the southwest edge of the city of Chicago; the Chicago city limit – specifically that of the Ashburn neighborhood – is in common with Burbank's eastern city limit. Burbank shares a boundary with Oak Lawn to its south, Bridgeview to its west, and Bedford Park to its north; the city of Hometown is also adjacent to Burbank's southeast corner. Burbank is less than two miles south of Chicago Midway International Airport.

In 1850, the area which would become the city of Burbank, then largely uninhabited and agrarian, became part of Lyons Township. Over the next hundred years the area remained largely undeveloped, though several times large plans were laid out for the area, never to come to fruition. In the late 19th century a railroad investor named A. B. Stickney planned a large railroad transfer center which included what became the northern part of Burbank, but his ideas were never realized due to an economic depression in 1893.

In the 1920s, the area became an attractive site for real-estate developers who bought up farmland and built subdivisions. However, ongoing drainage problems, practically nonexistent water and sewage systems and the Great Depression kept Burbank largely unbuilt and empty until the 1950s.

Pick the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Burbank IL

Selecting the ideal physical therapist college is an important first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Burbank IL.

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