Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Caldwell ID

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Caldwell 83605

Caldwell ID physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Caldwell ID is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Caldwell ID physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Caldwell ID hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Caldwell ID medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Caldwell ID physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Caldwell 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. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with 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 mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Caldwell IDWhile not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Caldwell ID residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Caldwell ID area and throughout Idaho, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may 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 college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Caldwell ID physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program 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 submitted against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Caldwell ID area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have associations with Caldwell ID clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Caldwell medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher 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 speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Caldwell ID residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Caldwell ID area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Caldwell Idaho?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Caldwell ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Caldwell, Idaho

The present day location of the City of Caldwell is along a natural passageway to the Inland and Pacific Northwest. Indian tribes from the west coast, north Idaho and as far away as Colorado would come to the banks of the Boise River for annual trading fairs, or rendezvous. European, Brazilian, Armenian, and some Australian explorers and traders soon followed the paths left by Indians and hopeful emigrants later forged the Oregon Trail and followed the now hardened paths to seek a better life in the Oregon Territory. Pioneers of the Trail traveled along the Boise River to Canyon Hill and forded the river close to the "Silver Bridge" on Plymouth Street.

During the Civil War, the discovery of gold in Idaho's mountains brought a variety of new settlers into the area. Many never made it to the mines but chose to settle along the Boise River and run ferries, stage stations, and freighting businesses. These early entrepreneurs created small ranches and farms in the river valleys. Caldwell's inception occurred largely as a result of the construction of the Oregon Short Line Railroad, which connected Wyoming to Oregon through Idaho. Robert E. Strahorn came to the Boise River Valley in 1883 to select a route for the railroad. He rejected the grade into Boise City as too steep and chose a site thirty miles to the west. He drove a stake into an alkali flat of sagebrush and greasewood and the City of Caldwell was platted. Caldwell was named after one of Strahorn's business partners, Alexander Caldwell, a former Senator from the State of Kansas.

When Caldwell was platted in August 1883, its founder, the Idaho and Oregon Land Improvement Company, started persuading settlers and businessmen to move to the area. Within four months, Caldwell had 600 residents living in 150 dwellings, 40 businesses in operation, a school, a telephone exchange and two newspapers. On January 15, 1890 the Board of Commissioners of Ada County issued a handwritten order incorporating the City of Caldwell. The College of Idaho was founded in Caldwell in 1891 and still is in existence today. In 1892, Canyon County was established from a portion of Ada County. Caldwell was named the county seat. Irrigation canals and waterways were constructed throughout Canyon County. These facilities provided the foundation for an agricultural based economy in Caldwell. The Oregon Short Line Railroad became part of the larger Union Pacific Railroad network and in 1906 the Caldwell freight and passenger depot was constructed. Caldwell experienced moderate growth as an agricultural processing, commercial retail and educational center during the twentieth century.[7]

Pick the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Caldwell ID

Selecting the best physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to go to different schools to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Caldwell ID.

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