How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Effingham 62401
Earning a physical therapy degree near Effingham IL is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about 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?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Effingham IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Effingham IL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Effingham IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Effingham IL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, 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 Effingham IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing 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 enroll in an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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 also. Get in touch with several Effingham IL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Effingham IL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required 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 PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Effingham IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on experience 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 establish professional relationships in the Effingham health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Effingham IL residence. Students who have decided 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 concern. Something to keep 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 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 live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Effingham IL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Effingham Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Effingham IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Effingham is a city in and the county seat of Effingham County, Illinois, United States. Effingham is in Southern Illinois. Its population was 12,604 at the 2015 census estimate. The city is part of the Effingham, IL Micropolitan Statistical Area. Effingham is home to a 198 foot cross, The Cross at the Crossroads. The cross is the tallest cross in the United States.
The city bills itself as "The Crossroads of Opportunity" because of its location at the intersection of two major Interstate highways: I-57 running from Chicago to Miner, Missouri, and I-70 running from Utah to Maryland. It is also served by U.S. Route 45, which runs from Ontonagon, Michigan to Mobile, Alabama, U.S. Route 40, the historic National Road, which stretches from Atlantic City, New Jersey to Summit, Utah, and Illinois routes 32 and 33 also run through the city. It is also a major railroad junction, the crossing of the Illinois Central main line from Chicago to Memphis with the Pennsylvania Railroad line from Indianapolis to St. Louis. Thus, Effingham has a broad range of restaurants, and lodging facilities.
According to the 2010 census, Effingham has a total area of 9.921 square miles (25.70 km2), of which 9.86 square miles (25.54 km2) (or 99.39%) is land and 0.061 square miles (0.16 km2) (or 0.61%) is water.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Effingham IL
Picking the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Effingham IL.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Illinois