How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Garden City 35070
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Garden City ID is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Garden City 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 previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop 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.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Garden City ID health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Garden City ID area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced 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 holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs 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 school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Garden City ID home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Garden City ID area and throughout Idaho, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Garden City ID physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Idaho Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Garden City ID area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have partnerships with Garden City ID hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Garden City health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for 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 want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Garden City ID home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Garden City ID area, make certain that they are offered. 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 need to enroll in. Also, learn 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 Garden City Idaho?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Garden City ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Garden City, Idaho
Garden City was named for gardens raised by Chinese immigrants who lived in the area. The name of the city's only main street, Chinden Boulevard, is a portmanteau of the words "China" and "garden." In the second decade of the 21st century, it became a haven for artists' studios due to its cheap rents and eclectic ambience.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.17 square miles (10.80 km2), of which, 4.04 square miles (10.46 km2) is land and 0.13 square miles (0.34 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 10,972 people, 4,878 households, and 2,849 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,715.8 inhabitants per square mile (1,048.6/km2). There were 5,429 housing units at an average density of 1,343.8 per square mile (518.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.2% White, 1.0% African American, 1.1% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 7.1% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.8% of the population.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Garden City ID
Deciding on the right physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Garden City ID.
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