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Top Rehabilitation Therapy Schools

Top Rehabilitation Therapy Schools

Rehabilitation therapy training is a popular area of health care education today, and some physical therapy aide programs offer the opportunity to earn a diploma in as little as six months, depending on the school, class availability and student aptitude. SchoolsGalore.com features a list of rehabilitation therapist schools where you can pursue degrees in occupational therapy, physical therapy or respiratory therapy. You may also find a number of colleges and universities where you can pursue a sports medicine degree, which may include training in athletic rehabilitation.

There are a number of physical therapy programs in the US . U.S. News and World Report highlighted some of these schools in its 2012 list of 10 best schools for physical therapy students (note that there are 11 schools on the list because of a three-way tie for 10th place):

1.       University of Southern California

2.       University of Delaware

3.       University of Pittsburgh

3.       Washington University in St. Louis

5.       University of Iowa

5.       U.S. Army - Baylor University

7.       Emory University

7.       MGH Institute of Health Professions

9.       Northwestern University

9.       University of Miami

9.       University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Students who choose not to pursue the primarily campus-based education of these schools still have options, however. Online institutions also offer programs that allow students to pursue an education in rehabilitation therapy.

Physical therapists and certified physical therapy assistants are required to have a certain level of  rehabilitation therapy education and field experience to qualify for employment and/or licensure. Certificates or associate's degrees may be adequate for physical therapy aides and assistants who work under the supervision of licensed physical therapists. However, those who work as rehabilitation therapists, occupational therapists or respiratory therapists must have a minimum of a master's degree from an accredited school of physical therapy, as well as a license from their state of practice. Sports medicine degrees and certifications may also be required for orthopedic therapists and athletic trainers.

Examples of rehabilitation therapist courses available through schools on schoolsgalore.com

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy training can provide you with instruction on helping debilitated patients regain abilities to perform everyday tasks with the goal of more independent living. Occupational therapists perform various therapeutic exercises and other health care therapies on patients with injuries, conditions or illnesses that cause limited mobility or mental incapacitation. A master's degree in occupational therapy (MOT) is typically required for practice. The practicing OT may also apply for enrollment in a doctorate of occupational therapy degree program (OTD), if desired. There are also occupational therapy schools that offer certificates and associate degrees for those interested in learning the techniques of occupational therapy aides. Students who are enrolled in accredited occupational therapy schools may be eligible for membership in The American Occupational Therapy Association.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists are usually required to have a doctoral degree from an accredited physical therapy program. In addition to these physical therapy training requirements, the graduate must also pass a state licensing exam. Rehabilitation therapist schools design their PT training courses to prepare students to face PT licensing requirements and exams. Physical therapy degree programs may be concentrated on one specialty, such as rehabilitation therapy or sports medicine. A master's degree in physical therapy may take five years or longer to complete. A quicker route to clinical practice may be to pursue training as a physical therapy aide, and then continue your health care education at a later date.

Physical Therapy Aide

Learning to be a physical therapy assistant may include classes in therapeutic exercise, electrical stimulation, hydrotherapy, medical massage and other prescribed health care techniques designed to provide pain relief and improve mobility. Some physical therapy aide schools provide a course that is designed to prepare students for professional certification. Check with individual colleges and universities to see what they recommend for pursuing employment as a physical therapy aide.

Respiratory Therapy

Helping patients breathe easier and regain cardiopulmonary strength are among the tasks that licensed respiratory therapists tackle. Respiratory therapy training may be completed in as little as two years—depending on course availability and student scheduling--with an associate's degree program in respiratory therapy. However, many employers now require a minimum of a bachelor's degree or a master's degree. Respiratory therapy students may learn to evaluate a patient's condition and to perform therapeutic respiratory treatments under the direct supervision of a respiratory therapy technician. Respiratory therapy schools are likely to carry official approval from The Commission on Accreditation in Allied Health Education (CAAHEP) or the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). 

Sports Medicine Degrees

Schools for sports medicine offer training to athletic coaches and students who want to learn methods of orthopedic therapy. The level of training required for employment depends on the exact position sought. School may offer sports medicine certification courses or undergraduate and graduate degrees in sports medicine or both. When enrolled in a sports medicine degree program, you may receive instruction on the techniques used by athletic trainers, orthopedic therapists or physical therapists for hospitals, athletic organizations, sports venues or schools. To learn more about these programs, contact several sports medicine schools and colleges for more information.

Learn more about rehabilitation therapist schools and colleges

If you are serious about finding the best education in rehabilitation therapy available, be sure that your choice of schools carries accreditation from an officially approved agency. In the field of rehabilitation therapy education, accreditation comes from agencies such as The Commission on Accreditation in Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and others. Check with the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to get a list of the accrediting agencies authorized to verify the quality of rehabilitation therapy schools and colleges.

Find some rehabilitation therapist schools and colleges through schoolsgalore.com

Contact several of your choice selections to request more information. Compare the course offerings and degree programs until you are satisfied you can pick the best rehabilitation therapy school to suit your goals.

ABOUT ACCREDITATION: Official accreditation is your assurance of third-party verification of a school’s quality. Please be sure to check that your schools of interest have all been fully accredited by professional accrediting organizations that are approved by The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) or The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or both.