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

How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Flanagan 61740

Flanagan IL physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Flanagan IL is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we discuss 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?

Flanagan IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Flanagan IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course 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 numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Flanagan IL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather 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

Flanagan IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, 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 advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Flanagan IL area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out 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 current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Flanagan ILAlthough not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Flanagan IL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Flanagan IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 choose an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Flanagan IL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Flanagan IL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides 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. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Flanagan IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Flanagan medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Flanagan IL home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Flanagan IL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out 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 obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Flanagan Illinois?

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

Flanagan, Illinois

Flanagan is a village in Livingston County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,083 at the 2000 census. The local high school and grade school are both located within the village limits. The mascot for both schools is the Falcons.

According to the 2010 census, Flanagan has a total area of 0.53 square miles (1.37 km2), all land.[4] A small man-made lake (originally four separate lakes, some being filled in), called the Legion Lake, is located on the west side of the village. A walking trail surrounds it and a park shelter is located on the site. Timothy Long lost his class ring in this lake. Artesian Park, another small park within the village boundaries, is located on the east side of town. It boasts two picnic shelters, a tennis court and playground equipment. A small business district of roughly one block in length is located in the center of town. Just north of this, the Flanagan Co-op can be found, a complex of several grain elevators and silos at Main and Lumber Streets.

As of the census[6] of 2010, there were 1,110 people, 446 occupied households, and 278 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,028.8 people per square mile (789.0/km²). There were 497 housing units at an average density of 889.8 per square mile (346.0/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.7% White, 0.8% African American, 0.7% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.

Choose the Best Physical Therapy School near Flanagan IL

Choosing the best physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Flanagan IL.

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