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

How to Pick a Physical Therapist Training Program near Urbana 52345

Urbana IA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Urbana IA is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to make sure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Urbana IA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Urbana IA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Urbana IA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Urbana IA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Urbana IA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Urbana IAAlthough not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Urbana IA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Urbana IA area and throughout Iowa, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy 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. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Urbana IA physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Iowa Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Urbana IA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose 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 each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have relationships with Urbana IA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Urbana health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller 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 prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Urbana IA residence. Students who have chosen 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. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Urbana IA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Urbana Iowa?

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

Urbana, Iowa

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 1,458 people, 520 households, and 412 families residing in the city. The population density was 662.7 inhabitants per square mile (255.9/km2). There were 543 housing units at an average density of 246.8 per square mile (95.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.5% White, 0.3% African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.

There were 520 households of which 48.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.8% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 20.8% were non-families. 15.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.14.

The median age in the city was 32.1 years. 32.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 35% were from 25 to 44; 19.6% were from 45 to 64; and 7.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.5% male and 49.5% female.

Pick the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Urbana IA

Selecting the best physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Urbana IA.

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