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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near Downs 61736

Downs IL physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Downs IL is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Downs IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Downs IL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Downs IL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Downs IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Downs IL area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component 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 a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Downs ILAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Downs IL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Downs IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting 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 as well. Get in touch with some Downs IL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college 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 schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Downs IL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both excellent 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have relationships with Downs IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Downs health care community and help with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher 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 converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Downs IL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required 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 Aid Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick 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 Downs IL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Downs Illinois?

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

Downs, Illinois

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 776 people, 284 households, and 220 families residing in the village. The population density was 286.8 people per square mile (110.6/km²). There were 301 housing units at an average density of 111.3 per square mile (42.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.81% White, 0.90% African American, 0.13% Asian, 0.52% from other races, and 0.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.90% of the population.

There were 284 households out of which 43.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.8% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.5% were non-families. 17.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the village, the population was spread out with 30.3% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 35.4% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years.

Choose the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Downs IL

Deciding on the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Downs IL.

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    Advanced Rehab and Sports Medicine
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