How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near Woodbine 51579
Earning a physical therapy degree near Woodbine IA is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients 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 must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not 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 significant qualifications that must be evaluated 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?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Woodbine IA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Woodbine IA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Woodbine 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 earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and usually 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Woodbine IA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar 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 advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Woodbine IA area and throughout Iowa, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Woodbine IA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Iowa Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Woodbine 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 excellent. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Woodbine IA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Woodbine medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher 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 a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Woodbine IA residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Woodbine IA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Woodbine Iowa?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Woodbine IA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Woodbine was platted 1866 at the time the Chicago and North Western Railway was built through that territory. It was incorporated as a town in 1877. The town was named for the dense growth of the woodbine plant near the original town site.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,459 people, 611 households, and 389 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,139.8 inhabitants per square mile (440.1/km2). There were 679 housing units at an average density of 530.5 per square mile (204.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.8% White, 0.1% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 0.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.8% of the population.
There were 611 households of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.2% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.3% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.89.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Woodbine IA
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist college is an important first decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Woodbine IA.
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