Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Franklin Park IL

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Franklin Park 60131

Franklin Park IL physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Franklin Park IL is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals 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 get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Franklin Park IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Franklin Park IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Franklin Park IL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Franklin Park IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Franklin Park IL area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Franklin Park ILAlthough not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Franklin Park IL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Franklin Park IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you select the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Franklin Park IL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Franklin Park IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Franklin Park IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Franklin Park health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Franklin Park IL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Franklin Park IL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Franklin Park Illinois?

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

Franklin Park, Illinois

As of the census of 2010, there were 18,333 people, 6,178 households, and 4,486 families residing in the village. The population density was 3,843.4 people per square mile (1,483.9/km²). There were 6,569 housing units at an average density of 1,377.1 per square mile (529.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 74.7% White, 1.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 3.1% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 18.0% some other race, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 43.1% of the population.[3]

There were 6,178 households, out of which 38.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.3% were headed by married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.4% were non-families. 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.3% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.96, and the average family size was 3.51.[3]

In the village, the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 25.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.1 males.[3]

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Franklin Park IL

Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Franklin Park IL.

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