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

How to Pick a Physical Therapist Program near Gardner 60424

Gardner IL physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Gardner IL is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Gardner IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, including Gardner 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Gardner IL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Gardner IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Gardner IL area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary 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 if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated and is no longer offered 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 current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Gardner ILWhile not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school 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 Gardner IL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Gardner IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you select the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 enroll in an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Gardner IL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After 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 Gardner IL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Gardner IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Gardner medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Gardner IL home. Students who have opted 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what type of help is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

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

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Gardner Illinois?

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

Gardner, Illinois

Gardner is located at 41°11′16″N 88°18′34″W / 41.18778°N 88.30944°W / 41.18778; -88.30944 (41.187881, -88.309524).[4] According to the 2010 census, Gardner has a total area of 2.948 square miles (7.64 km2), of which 2.92 square miles (7.56 km2) (or 99.05%) is land and 0.028 square miles (0.07 km2) (or 0.95%) is water.[5]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 1,406 people, 558 households, and 392 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,351.4 people per square mile (522.0/km²). There were 580 housing units at an average density of 557.5 per square mile (215.3/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.36% White, 0.07% African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.92% from other races, and 0.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.27% of the population.

There were 558 households out of which 35.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.8% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.04.

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy School near Gardner IL

Deciding on the right physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Gardner IL.

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