How to Choose a Physical Therapy College near Rexburg 83440
Earning a physical therapist degree near Rexburg ID is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated 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?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Rexburg ID hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent 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.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Rexburg ID health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Rexburg ID area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 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 three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only 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 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 implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many 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 integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Rexburg ID home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Rexburg ID area and across Idaho, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs 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 select an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Rexburg ID physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Idaho Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Rexburg ID area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have partnerships with Rexburg ID clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Rexburg medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Rexburg ID home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school 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 typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Rexburg ID area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Rexburg Idaho?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Rexburg ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Rexburg is a city in Madison County, Idaho, United States. The population was 25,484 at the 2010 census, up from 17,257 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Madison County and its largest city. Rexburg is the principal city of the Rexburg, ID Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Fremont and Madison Counties. The city is home to Brigham Young University-Idaho (BYU-Idaho), a private institution operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).
Rexburg was severely damaged by the Teton Dam Flood in June 1976. The Teton River flowed through northern Rexburg, and left most of the city underwater for several days after the Teton Dam ruptured. A museum dedicated to the Teton Dam Flood and the history of Rexburg and the area, located in the basement of the Rexburg Tabernacle, has been a major city landmark for decades.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.84 square miles (25.49 km2), of which, 9.76 square miles (25.28 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km2) is water.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Rexburg ID
Choosing the ideal physical therapist college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important 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 have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Rexburg ID.
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