How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Sidney 59270
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Sidney MT is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, 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 Sidney MT private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Sidney MT health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Sidney MT area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can 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 most often offered by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 complete, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of 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 necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Sidney MT residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Sidney MT area and throughout Montana, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to make sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Sidney MT physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with the Montana Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Sidney MT area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Montana or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have associations with Sidney MT clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Sidney medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average 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 a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Sidney MT residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Sidney MT area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Sidney Montana?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Sidney MT area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Sidney is a city in and the county seat of Richland County, Montana, United States, less than 10 mi (16 km) away from the North Dakota border. The population was 5,191 at the 2010 census. The city lies along the Yellowstone River and is in proximity to the badlands of the Dakotas. Sidney is approximately midway between Glendive, Montana and Williston, North Dakota.
Settlers began arriving in the area in the 1870s, and a post office was established in 1888. Six-year-old Sidney Walters and his parents were staying with Hiram Otis, the local justice of the peace, and Otis decided that Sidney was a good name for the town. The following year, Montana became a state and Sidney was incorporated in 1911. 
Agriculture became an important part of the region after the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project was completed in 1909. A dam was built on the river south of Glendive, which diverted water from the river into a 115.2 km (71.6 mi) main canal, which runs north-south, parallel to the Yellowstone, irrigating land from Glendive north up to Fairview, where it dumps into the Missouri River. This project irrigates 51,429 acres (208.13 km2) and serves water to 450 farms, according to the manager of the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Districts.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Sidney MT
Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Sidney MT.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Montana