How to Choose a Physical Therapy College near Priest River 83856
Earning a physical therapy degree near Priest River ID is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to make certain they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover 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 work in diverse locations, including Priest River ID hospitals, health clinics, 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen 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
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Priest River ID health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one 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 preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Priest River 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 equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Priest River ID residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Priest River ID area and across Idaho, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing 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 program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call several Priest River ID physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It might 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Priest River ID area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Priest River ID clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Priest River health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the average 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 an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Priest River ID residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Priest River ID area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out 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 may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Priest River Idaho?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Priest River ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Priest River, Idaho
Priest River is a city in Bonner County, Idaho. The population was 1,751 at the 2010 census. Located in the northern part of the state, the city is at the mouth of the Priest River on the Pend Oreille River.
Priest River is located at 48°11′0″N 116°54′34″W / 48.18333°N 116.90944°W / 48.18333; -116.90944 (48.183388, -116.909555), at an elevation of 2,139 feet (652 m) above sea level.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,751 people, 713 households, and 474 families residing in the city. The population density was 474.5 inhabitants per square mile (183.2/km2). There were 798 housing units at an average density of 216.3 per square mile (83.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.3% White, 0.1% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.8% from other races, and 3.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Priest River ID
Picking the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Priest River ID.
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