Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Cascade ID

How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Cascade 83611

Cascade ID physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Cascade ID is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we cover 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Cascade ID physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, including Cascade ID private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Cascade ID medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Cascade ID physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Cascade ID area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 complete, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Cascade IDWhile not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more 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. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Cascade ID home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Cascade ID area and throughout Idaho, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Cascade ID physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Idaho Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Cascade ID area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Cascade ID hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on 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 students and graduates develop professional connections in the Cascade healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Cascade ID residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Cascade ID area, confirm 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 need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cascade Idaho?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cascade ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Cascade, Idaho

Cascade is located on the southeast shore of Lake Cascade, formerly known as "Cascade Reservoir." With the introduction of the Tamarack Resort in 2004, the name was officially changed to sidestep the negative marketing connotations of "reservoir." It was formed by the completion of Cascade Dam, on the north side of the city. Construction by the Bureau of Reclamation began in 1942, was halted during World War II, and completed in 1948.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.86 square miles (12.59 km2), of which, 4.17 square miles (10.80 km2) is land and 0.69 square miles (1.79 km2) is water.[8]

Cascade is approximately 70 miles (110 km) north of Boise, accessed via State Highway 55, the Payette River Scenic Byway, a designated national scenic byway. It heads north from Eagle in Ada County to Horseshoe Bend in Boise County, and climbs the whitewater of the Payette River to Cascade. SH-55 continues north to McCall, where it turns west at Payette Lake and continues to New Meadows in Adams County, ending at the junction with US-95.[9]

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Cascade ID

Choosing the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Cascade ID.

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