How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Dongola 62926
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Dongola IL is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Dongola IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Dongola IL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to become 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 short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Dongola 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 a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and commonly incorporate 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as common as the on campus options, 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 integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Dongola IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Dongola IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it can also obtain 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 just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Dongola IL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Dongola IL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. 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 tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Dongola IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Dongola healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Dongola IL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Dongola IL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dongola Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dongola IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Dongola was laid out in 1857 as a stop along the Illinois Central Railroad. A post office known as "Unionville" had been established in 1855, but the name was changed to "Dongola," after Dongola, Sudan.
Dongola is located at 37°21′40″N 89°9′52″W / 37.36111°N 89.16444°W / 37.36111; -89.16444 (37.361243, -89.164574). The village is situated north of Cairo at the intersection of Old U.S. Highway 51 (signed as Front Street in Dongola) and Interstate 57. The point at which Union, Pulaski, and Alexander counties meet is located just to the southwest. Dongola Lake, created by a small dam along Little Creek, lies to the west of Dongola.
According to the 2010 census, Dongola has a total area of 1.147 square miles (2.97 km2), of which 1.09 square miles (2.82 km2) (or 95.03%) is land and 0.057 square miles (0.15 km2) (or 4.97%) is water.
Choose the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Dongola IL
Choosing the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to go to different schools to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Dongola IL.
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