How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Lewiston 83501
Getting a physical therapist degree near Lewiston ID is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive 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 make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Lewiston ID private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Lewiston ID medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Lewiston ID area:
- Associate Degrees train 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 GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
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 offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Lewiston ID residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Lewiston ID area and across Idaho, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate 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 earn 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. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Lewiston ID physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program options. 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 Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lewiston ID area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have relationships with Lewiston ID hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Lewiston healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Lewiston ID home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even 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 commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lewiston ID area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lewiston Idaho?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lewiston ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Lewiston is a city in and the county seat of Nez Perce County, Idaho, United States, in the state's north central region. It is the second-largest city in the northern Idaho region, behind Coeur d'Alene, and ninth-largest in the state. Lewiston is the principal city of the Lewiston, ID-WA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Nez Perce County and Asotin County, Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population of Lewiston was 31,894, up from 30,904 in 2000.
Lewiston is located at the confluence of the Snake River and Clearwater River, thirty miles (48 km) southeast of the Lower Granite Dam. Because of dams (and their locks) on the Snake and Columbia River, Lewiston is reachable by some ocean-going vessels. The Port of Lewiston (Idaho's only seaport) has the distinction of being the farthest inland port east of the West Coast of the United States. The Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport serves the city by air.
Lewiston was founded 157 years ago in 1861 in the wake of a gold rush which began the previous year near Pierce, northeast of Lewiston. In 1863, Lewiston became the first capital of the newly created Idaho Territory. Its stint as seat of the new territory's government was short-lived, as a resolution to have the capital moved south to Boise was passed by the Idaho Territorial Legislature on December 7, 1864.
Select the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Lewiston ID
Choosing the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Lewiston ID.
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