How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy Program near Aberdeen Idaho
Earning a physical therapy degree near Aberdeen ID is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover 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?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Aberdeen ID 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 previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Aberdeen ID health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Aberdeen ID area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs 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 requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Aberdeen ID residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Aberdeen ID area and across Idaho, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 enroll in an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even 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 choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Aberdeen ID physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Idaho Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Aberdeen ID area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have relationships with Aberdeen ID clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Aberdeen healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Aberdeen ID residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Aberdeen ID area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Aberdeen Idaho?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Aberdeen ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Aberdeen is located at 42°56′36″N 112°50′22″W / 42.94333°N 112.83944°W / 42.94333; -112.83944 (42.943405, -112.839322), at an elevation of 4,403 feet (1,342 m) above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.03 square miles (2.67 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,994 people, 615 households, and 466 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,935.9 inhabitants per square mile (747.5/km2). There were 667 housing units at an average density of 647.6 per square mile (250.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 60.2% White, 0.1% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 37.5% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 54.1% of the population.
There were 615 households of which 49.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.0% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 24.2% were non-families. 20.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.24 and the average family size was 3.79.
Physical Therapy Colleges Aberdeen ID
Picking the ideal physical therapy program is an important initial decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Colleges. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy college bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Aberdeen ID.
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