Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Thornburg IA

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Thornburg 50255

Thornburg IA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Thornburg IA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to 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 is a Physical Therapist?

Thornburg IA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Thornburg IA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Thornburg IA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several 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 quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Thornburg IA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals 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 training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Thornburg IA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Thornburg IAWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Thornburg IA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Thornburg IA area and throughout Iowa, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 enroll in an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring 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 Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Thornburg IA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Iowa Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Thornburg IA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Thornburg IA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Thornburg medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to converse 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 lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Thornburg IA residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously 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 college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Thornburg IA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Thornburg Iowa?

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

Thornburg, Iowa

The Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern Railway built a 66-mile branch to What Cheer via Thornburg in 1879[4] The town was founded by the railroad and named in memory of Major Thomas T. Thornburgh, who died in the Meeker Massacre.[5][6] By 1881, Thornburg was at the junction of the line to What Cheer and a branch to Montezuma[7]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 67 people, 27 households, and 20 families residing in the city. The population density was 335.0 inhabitants per square mile (129.3/km2). There were 29 housing units at an average density of 145.0 per square mile (56.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 100.0% White. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

There were 27 households of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 25.9% were non-families. 22.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.80.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Thornburg IA

Picking the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Thornburg IA.

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