How to Select the Right Physical Therapist College near Caldwell Idaho
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Caldwell ID is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health 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 provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Caldwell ID private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Caldwell ID health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Caldwell ID area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Caldwell ID home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Caldwell ID area and across Idaho, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 enroll in an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive 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 important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Caldwell ID physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It may also be prudent to check with the Idaho Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Caldwell ID area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements 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 program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have relationships with Caldwell ID clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Caldwell health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Caldwell ID home. Students 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide 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 verify that the physical therapy school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Caldwell ID area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program 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 campus.
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.
Physical Therapist Course Caldwell ID
Choosing the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapist Course. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy college bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Caldwell ID.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Idaho
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