How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Hazelton 83335
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Hazelton ID is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Hazelton ID private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Hazelton ID health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Hazelton ID area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students 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. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Hazelton ID residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs 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.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Hazelton ID area and across Idaho, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you want to make sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 choose an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just 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 an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple 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 search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Hazelton ID physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. It might also be prudent to check with 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 Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Hazelton ID area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Idaho 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 program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Hazelton ID hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on 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 help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Hazelton health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Hazelton ID home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hazelton ID area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Hazelton Idaho?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hazelton ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Rebecca Hazelton was born in 1978 in Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Davidson College in 2000, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English; University of Notre Dame, where she got her Master of Fine Arts in Poetry; and Florida State University where she received her Ph.D in English and Poetry.
A former editor at The Southeast Review and Devil's Lake, Hazelton presently reviews contemporary poetry for Southern Indiana Review. She was also a member of the English faculty of Beloit College from 2011 to 2012. She was then on the creative writing faculty of Oklahoma State University. Her poetry has been published in various journals such as FIELD, Pleiades, and The Sycamore Review. She serves as assistant professor of English at North Central College. Her poem "Letter to the Editor" was published in The New Yorker in May 2016.
Hazelton is the author of four collections of poetry: Fair Copy (2012, for which she won the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry), Vow (2013), No Girls No Telephones (written with Brittany Cavallaro and published in 2013), and Bad Star (2013). In Fair Copy, Hazelton engages with the poetry of Emily Dickinson, using the first lines of Dickinson poems as acrostics from which Hazelton wrote her own poems. (Begun on Hazelton's 29th birthday, the project used the first line of every 29th poem from The Complete Works of Emily Dickinson.) Reviewing the collection in The Emily Dickinson Journal, Christina Pugh said Hazelton's "handling of line is often astonishingly virtuosic, and [her] material is only 'personal' in the coyest and most mercurial of ways," noting that these qualities echo Dickinson's own body of work.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Hazelton ID
Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is an important first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Hazelton ID.
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