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

How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Thornton 50479

Thornton IA physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Thornton IA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Thornton IA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Thornton IA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Thornton IA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Thornton IA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Thornton IA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish 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 complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Thornton IAAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Thornton IA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, 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 option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Thornton IA area and across Iowa, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 choose an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Thornton IA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight 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 School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After 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 Thornton IA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working. 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 differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have relationships with Thornton IA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Thornton medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Thornton IA residence. Individuals 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 concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Thornton IA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Thornton Iowa?

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

Thornton, Iowa

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 422 people, 188 households, and 125 families residing in the city. The population density was 337.6 inhabitants per square mile (130.3/km2). There were 204 housing units at an average density of 163.2 per square mile (63.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.6% White, 0.5% African American, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.7% of the population.

There were 188 households of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.5% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.72.

The median age in the city was 45.3 years. 20.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20% were from 25 to 44; 30.1% were from 45 to 64; and 20.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.5% male and 49.5% female.

Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist College near Thornton IA

Selecting the ideal physical therapy program 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 PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college 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 field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Thornton IA.

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