How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Pocatello 83201
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Pocatello ID is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose 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 need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Pocatello ID private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Pocatello ID medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only 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 advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Pocatello ID area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often include 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to 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 college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Pocatello ID home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Pocatello ID area and throughout Idaho, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call several Pocatello ID physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Idaho Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Pocatello ID area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing. In every 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 vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Pocatello ID hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Pocatello healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Pocatello ID residence. Individuals 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. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required 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 Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Pocatello ID area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Pocatello Idaho?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pocatello ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Pocatello (/ˈpoʊkəˈtɛloʊ/ ( listen)) is the county seat and largest city of Bannock County, with a small portion on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in neighboring Power County, in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Idaho. It is the principal city of the Pocatello metropolitan area, which encompasses all of Bannock county. As of the 2010 census the population of Pocatello was 54,255.
Pocatello is the fifth-largest city in the state, just behind Idaho Falls (population of 56,813). In 2007, Pocatello was ranked twentieth on Forbes list of Best Small Places for Business and Careers. Pocatello is the home of Idaho State University and the manufacturing facility of ON Semiconductor. The city is at an elevation of 4,462 feet (1,360 m) above sea level and is served by the Pocatello Regional Airport.
Founded in 1889, Pocatello was known as the "Gateway to the Northwest". As pioneers, gold miners and settlers traveled the Oregon Trail, they passed through the Portneuf Gap south of town. Stage and freight lines and the railroad soon followed, turning the community into a trade center and transportation junction.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Pocatello ID
Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish 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 field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Pocatello ID.
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