How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist College near Loveland Ohio
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Loveland OH is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Loveland OH hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Loveland OH health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Loveland OH 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 usually made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate 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 total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, 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 close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Loveland OH residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning some of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Loveland OH area and across Ohio, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 choose an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Loveland OH physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Ohio Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Loveland OH area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Ohio or the state where you will be practicing. 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 program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Loveland OH hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Loveland medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist 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 talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Loveland OH home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Loveland OH area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Loveland Ohio?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Loveland OH area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Loveland (/ˈlʌvlən/ LUV-lən) is a city in Hamilton, Clermont, and Warren counties in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Ohio. Considered part of the Greater Cincinnati area, Loveland is located near exit 52 off Interstate 275, about 15 miles (24 km) northeast of the Cincinnati city limits. It borders Symmes, Miami and Hamilton Townships and straddles the Little Miami River. The population was 12,081 at the 2010 census and was estimated at 12,732 in 2016. Once a busy railroad town, Loveland is now a major stop along the Little Miami Scenic Trail.
Present-day Loveland originally lay at the edges of the Symmes Purchase and Virginia Military District, in what was then the Northwest Territory. The area was first settled in 1795 by Col. Thomas Paxton:
The city is named after James Loveland, who operated a general store and post office near the railroad tracks downtown. It was incorporated as a village on May 12 or 16, 1876, and incorporated as a chartered city in 1961.
Physical Therapy College Loveland OH
Choosing the ideal physical therapy school is an important first decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy College. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve 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 appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Loveland OH.
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Students also study pediatric physical therapy, musculoskeletal physical therapy, advanced clinical issues and electrotherapy. Clinical observations and internships are also required in the program. In the years 2016-2018, the program had a 98.2% graduation rate, with a 100% pass rate on licensure exams.