How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near Athol 83801
Earning a physical therapist degree near Athol ID is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Athol ID private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Athol ID health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable 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. Following are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Athol ID area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may 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 programs are most often offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Athol ID home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Athol ID area and across Idaho, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 select an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research 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. Get in touch with a few Athol ID physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest 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 find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Athol ID area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important 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 each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Athol ID clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Athol health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Athol ID residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Athol ID area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative 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 may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Athol Idaho?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Athol ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Athol is a city in Kootenai County, Idaho, United States. The population was 692 at the 2010 census, up from 676 in 2000. It is part of the Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the entire county.
As of 2000 the median income for a household in the city was $30,595, and the median income for a family was $31,875. Males had a median income of $28,438 versus $17,813 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,632. About 11.0% of families and 14.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.3% of those under age 18 and 23.7% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2010, there were 692 people, 282 households, and 176 families residing in the city. The population density was 875.9 inhabitants per square mile (338.2/km2). There were 305 housing units at an average density of 386.1 per square mile (149.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.0% White, 0.9% Native American, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.3% of the population.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Athol ID
Choosing the ideal physical therapist program is an important initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Athol ID.
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