Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – West Burlington IA

How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near West Burlington 52655

West Burlington IA physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near West Burlington IA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to make certain they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist?

West Burlington IA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, including West Burlington IA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other West Burlington IA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

West Burlington IA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the West Burlington IA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced 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 existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in West Burlington IAAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s West Burlington IA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the West Burlington IA area and across Iowa, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 enroll in an online college, it may also obtain 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. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few West Burlington IA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program 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 two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once 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 West Burlington IA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have relationships with West Burlington IA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the West Burlington medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their West Burlington IA residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and see what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the West Burlington IA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. 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 West Burlington Iowa?

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

West Burlington, Iowa

West Burlington is a city in Des Moines County, Iowa, United States, adjacent to the Mississippi River city of Burlington. The population was 2,968 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Burlington, IA–IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 2,968 people, 1,372 households, and 800 families residing in the city. The population density was 599.6 inhabitants per square mile (231.5/km2). There were 1,479 housing units at an average density of 298.8 per square mile (115.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.7% White, 4.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.0% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.9% of the population.

There were 1,372 households of which 25.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.7% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.7% were non-families. 36.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.76.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist College near West Burlington IA

Deciding on the right physical therapist college is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in West Burlington IA.

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