How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near East Dubuque 61025
Earning a physical therapist degree near East Dubuque IL is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as East Dubuque 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 previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other East Dubuque IL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather 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 Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the East Dubuque IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be 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 qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
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 available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s East Dubuque IL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the East Dubuque IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, 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 program, it can also obtain 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. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few East Dubuque IL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the East Dubuque IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have relationships with East Dubuque IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain 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 graduates and students form professional connections in the East Dubuque health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom 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 colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within driving distance of their East Dubuque IL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry 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 decide 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 generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the East Dubuque IL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near East Dubuque Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the East Dubuque IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
East Dubuque, Illinois
East Dubuque is a city in Jo Daviess County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,704 at the 2010 census, down from 1,995 in 2000. East Dubuque is located alongside the Mississippi River. Across the river is the city of Dubuque, Iowa. About three miles north of the city is the Illinois – Wisconsin border.
East Dubuque was originally called Dunleith, and under the latter name was platted in 1853. The present name comes from the city's location east of Dubuque. A post office was established at Dunleith in 1854, and the post office was renamed East Dubuque in 1879.
The main roads in East Dubuque are Sinsinawa Avenue and U.S. Route 20 (Wall Street). The Julien Dubuque Bridge serves as the connection between East Dubuque and Dubuque. Illinois Route 35 serves as the primary connection between East Dubuque and Wisconsin.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near East Dubuque IL
Picking the right physical therapist college is an important initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with current 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 be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in East Dubuque IL.
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