How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Blackfoot 83221
Earning a physical therapist degree near Blackfoot ID is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Blackfoot ID hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Blackfoot ID health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
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 become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing 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 Blackfoot ID area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated 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 curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Blackfoot ID home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Blackfoot ID area and across Idaho, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for 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 a few Blackfoot ID physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Idaho Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Blackfoot ID area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Blackfoot ID hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Blackfoot medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Blackfoot ID residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Blackfoot ID area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Blackfoot Idaho?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Blackfoot ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Blackfoot is a city in Bingham County, Idaho, United States. The population was 11,899 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Bingham County. Blackfoot boasts the largest potato industry in any one area, and is known as the "Potato Capital of the World." It is the site of the Idaho Potato Museum (a museum and gift shop that displays and explains the history of Idaho's potato industry), and the home of the world's largest baked potato and potato chip. Blackfoot is also the location of the Eastern Idaho State Fair, which operates between Labor Day weekend and the following weekend.
The city of Blackfoot is located near the center of Bingham County, on the south side of the Snake River. It was designated the county seat by the Thirteenth Territorial Legislature on January 13, 1885. Originally, the county seat was to be Eagle Rock (the original name for Idaho Falls). However, supposedly, on the night before the legislation was to be signed, men from Blackfoot bribed a clerk to erase Eagle Rock and write in Blackfoot. The measure went through without opposition and was signed by the governor. The origin of this accusation, written many years after the event, was a Blackfoot newspaper editor named Byrd Trego. The battle for county seat between Eagle Rock and Blackfoot was a political tug-of-war involving sectional and anti-Mormon factions in the Idaho Legislature. The leader of the southeastern Idaho anti-Mormons was a Yale graduate named Fred T. Dubois, who settled in Blackfoot in 1880. The legislative maneuvering to overturn Eagle Rock as the county seat naturally left “disparaging rumors intimating some skullduggery on Blackfoot’s part.”
Frederick S. Stevens and Joe Warren were the first permanent white settlers of record in Bingham County. In 1866 Stevens and Warren filed claims in the Snake River Valley near the present-day location of Blackfoot, where they started farming and ranching. The area was a flat, expansive plain of sagebrush frequented by Indians. To create a place of safety for the scattered settlers when they feared Indian trouble, Mr. Warren outfitted his cabin with holes between the logs where men could stand guard, day or night, until the natives left the neighborhood. When the Utah Northern Railroad signed contracts to expand north into Idaho in the 1870s, some of the settlers laid out a town on the Shilling and Lewis homesteads. The planned town, named Blackfoot, which was what the area had been called by fur traders, was near the Corbett stage station, about a mile from the Snake River, and two miles from the Blackfoot River.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Blackfoot ID
Picking the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Blackfoot ID.
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