How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Boise 83701
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Boise ID is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Boise ID hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Boise ID medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Boise ID area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Boise ID residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Boise ID area and throughout Idaho, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you enroll in 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 therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 select 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 just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Boise ID physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Idaho Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Boise ID area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have partnerships with Boise ID hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Boise medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher 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 a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Boise ID residence. Individuals who have decided 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Boise ID area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Boise Idaho?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Boise ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Boise (/ˈbɔɪsi/ ( listen)) is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Idaho, and is the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River in southwestern Idaho, the population of Boise at the 2010 Census was 205,671, the 99th largest in the United States. Its estimated population in 2016 was 223,154.
The Boise-Nampa metropolitan area, also known as the Treasure Valley, includes five counties with a combined population of 709,845, the most populous metropolitan area in Idaho. It contains the state's three largest cities; Boise, Nampa, and Meridian. Boise is the 80th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States.
Accounts differ regarding the origin of the name. One account credits Capt. B.L.E. Bonneville of the U.S. Army as its source. After trekking for weeks through dry and rough terrain, his exploration party reached an overlook with a view of the Boise River Valley. The place where they stood is called Bonneville Point, located on the Oregon Trail east of the city. According to the story, a French-speaking guide, overwhelmed by the sight of the verdant river, yelled "Les bois! Les bois!" ("The woods! The woods!")—and the name stuck.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Boise ID
Selecting the right physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to current 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 following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Boise ID.
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