How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Rathdrum 83858
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Rathdrum ID is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Rathdrum ID private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent 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
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Rathdrum ID medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Rathdrum ID area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to progress 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. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 3 years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
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 available 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 existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Rathdrum ID residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Rathdrum ID area and throughout Idaho, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Rathdrum ID physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. It might also be prudent 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 Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Rathdrum ID area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have partnerships with Rathdrum ID hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Rathdrum health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Rathdrum 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Rathdrum ID area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check 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 due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Rathdrum Idaho?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Rathdrum ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Rathdrum is a city in Kootenai County, Idaho, United States. The population was 6,826 at the 2010 census, up from 4816 in 2000. It is part of the Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the entire county. It is named after Rathdrum in Ireland.
Rathdrum is located on the Rathdrum Prairie at 47°48′30″N 116°53′33″W / 47.80833°N 116.89250°W / 47.80833; -116.89250 (47.808457, -116.892415), at an elevation of 2,211 feet (674 m) above sea level.
In the 1800s the town was initially called Westwood in honor of one of the founders of the town, a Pony Express rider and rancher, Charles Wesley Wood, also known as "Wes." But in 1881 the postmaster in the town was informed by the federal government that the town would need to change its name since it was already taken by another town in the territory. A local businessman, Michael M. Cowley, recommended the name "Rathdrum" from County Wicklow in Ireland, his place of birth.
Select the Best Physical Therapist College near Rathdrum ID
Selecting the ideal physical therapy program is an important first decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve 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 best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Rathdrum ID.
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