How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapy College near Waite Park Minnesota
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Waite Park MN is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are considering to make sure they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Waite Park MN private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Waite Park MN medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing 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 prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Waite Park MN area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to 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 a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Waite Park MN home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Waite Park MN area and throughout Minnesota, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you select the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 college, it may also earn 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 simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Waite Park MN physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Minnesota Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Waite Park MN area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have associations with Waite Park MN clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Waite Park medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Waite Park MN home. Individuals who have opted 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Waite Park MN area, check that they are offered. 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 carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Waite Park Minnesota?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Waite Park MN area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Waite Park, Minnesota
Waite Park is a city in Stearns County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 6,715 at the 2010 census and according to 2016 estimates is now 7,839. It is part of the St. Cloud Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,568 people, 2,967 households, and 1,536 families residing in the city. The population density was 841.0 people per square mile (324.7/km²). There were 3,065 housing units at an average density of 392.5 per square mile (151.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.74% White, 0.72% African American, 0.56% Native American, 3.50% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.20% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.01% of the population.
There were 2,967 households out of which 23.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.5% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.2% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.80.
Doctor Of Physical Therapy Degree Waite Park MN
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Doctor Of Physical Therapy Degree. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Waite Park MN.
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