How to Pick a Physical Therapist Training Program near Clinton 61727
Getting a physical therapy degree near Clinton IL is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated 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 necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about 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?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Clinton IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Clinton IL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee 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 thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Clinton IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just 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 attainable in the United States. 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 implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, 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 requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Clinton IL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, 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 option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Clinton IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 choose an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Clinton IL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Clinton IL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both excellent 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have associations with Clinton IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Clinton medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide 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 reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Clinton IL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clinton IL area, check 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 work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Clinton Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Clinton IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Clinton is centrally located in the heart of Illinois, at 40°9′8″N 88°57′33″W / 40.15222°N 88.95917°W / 40.15222; -88.95917 (40.152240, -88.959214), accessible from Routes 51, 54, and 10.
The city was founded in 1835 by Jesse W. Fell of Bloomington, Illinois, a land speculator and lawyer, and James Allen, a representative in the Illinois State Legislature. The two men were on their way from Decatur, Illinois back to Bloomington after a business trip and stopped to rest their horses on the open prairie halfway between the two cities. It occurred to them that this was an ideal location for a settlement, as there was nothing else nearby. They named the town in honor of DeWitt Clinton.
Clinton is on the 8th Judicial Circuit, on which Abraham Lincoln traveled, along with Judge David Davis, for twenty years. Lincoln acted as lawyer because lawyers were scarce in the area at the time.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Clinton IL
Picking the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You might 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 achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Clinton IL.
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