How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist College near Waverly Illinois
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Waverly IL is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Waverly IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Waverly IL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee 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 heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Waverly IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding 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 Online Programs
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature 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. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Waverly IL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Waverly IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. 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 considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 enroll in an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy 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 rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several Waverly IL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Waverly IL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Waverly IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Waverly healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Waverly IL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Waverly IL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses 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.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Waverly Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Waverly IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
The two largest events in Waverly each year are the Waverly Holiday Basketball Tournament and the Old Fashioned Picnic. The Waverly Holiday Tournament for basketball is an invitational tournament held between Christmas and New Years. The Waverly Old Fashioned Picnic is held in late August, and includes music, games, food, carnival rides,the teen dance, the firemen games and most notably the bumpy wagon.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,346 people, 576 households, and 365 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,303.9 people per square mile (504.6/km²). There were 622 housing units at an average density of 602.5 per square mile (233.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.48% White, 0.15% Native American, 0.07% from other races, and 0.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.30% of the population.
There were 576 households out of which 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.96.
Physical Therapy Studies Waverly IL
Picking the best physical therapy school is an important first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Studies. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to visit different schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Waverly IL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Illinois
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