How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Calumet City 60409
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Calumet City IL is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury 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 also become licensed in all states, many 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 investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Calumet City IL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Calumet City IL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Calumet City IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may 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 programs are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more 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 near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Calumet City IL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Calumet City IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, 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 may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research 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 also. Call a few Calumet City IL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. 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 colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once 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 Calumet City 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 even exceptional. It also confirms that the program 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 school you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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 therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have relationships with Calumet City IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Calumet City healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Calumet City IL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what type of assistance is offered. They at least 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 offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Calumet City IL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Calumet City Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Calumet City IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Calumet City, Illinois
Calumet City (commonly referred to locally as "Cal City") was founded in 1893 when the villages of Schrumville and Sobieski Park merged under the name of West Hammond, since it lies on the west side of the Illinois-Indiana line from Hammond, Indiana. In 1924, West Hammond officially became Calumet City after its citizens voted to change the name in 1923.
According to the 2010 census, Calumet City has a total area of 7.314 square miles (18.94 km2), of which 7.19 square miles (18.62 km2) (or 98.3%) is land and 0.124 square miles (0.32 km2) (or 1.7%) is water.
As of the 2010 census, there were 37,042 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 20.4% White, 71.9% African American, 1.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 8.1% from other races, with 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.0% of the population, including 13.4% of Mexican descent.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Calumet City IL
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist school is an important first decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish 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 choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Calumet City IL.
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