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

How to Choose a Physical Therapist Program near Underwood 51576

Underwood IA physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near Underwood IA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Underwood IA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, such as Underwood IA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people 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 address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Underwood IA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Underwood IA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Underwood IA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be 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 usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require 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 students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with 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 available 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 Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Underwood IAWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, 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 close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Underwood IA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Underwood IA area and across Iowa, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to be sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 select an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated 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 select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Underwood IA physical therapist centers 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 prudent to check with 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 Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Underwood IA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Iowa or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have associations with Underwood IA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Underwood healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering 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 final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Underwood IA residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have 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 live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Underwood IA area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option 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 might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Underwood Iowa?

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

Underwood, Iowa

Underwood is located in Norwalk Township, so the early history of the township is also of the town. The historical information provided here was taken from a book on Pottawattamie County's past. The principal early settlers of the area arrived during the period from 1845 to 1850. In 1847, a flour mill and a saw mill were built on Mosquito Creek, southwest of the present site of Underwood. In 1850, the flour mill was destroyed by a flood. The first school was built in 1863 and soon more homes were built near the school and saw mill. It became known as Downsville. A post office was established there.

With the coming of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad in 1869, the town of Underwood was established three miles northeast of Downsville, which was later abandoned and has entirely disappeared (with the exception of a cemetery). In 1882, the other railroad that crossed through Norwalk Township, Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, built a station house, erected a water tank and laid a switch. These improvements were on portions of the farms owned by two men and their farms were to be surveyed and divided into town lots. The name Underwood comes from the name of the first engineer to run a train over the Milwaukee tracks. Two farmers cut the corn stalks off to make a road to the Milwaukee tracks so the depot could be built. This path later became "Main Street".

In 1902, the town was incorporated, a town marshal appointed, sidewalks constructed and a jail built at the cost of $140. The first addition to the town was presented to the town council in 1903. The old school house was moved onto town property and made into a town hall. In 1905, five street lamps were purchased, sidewalks and streets were extended. From 1907 to 1910 the telephone came to town, a water works system was installed and cement sidewalks constructed. By 1917 a fire department was organized. In 1926 a new consolidated school was built at the cost of approximately $75,000. There were 62 students in high school and 116 in the grades with seven teachers in charge.

Select the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Underwood IA

Picking the best physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college 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 field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Underwood IA.

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