How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy College near Cambridge Idaho
Earning a physical therapist degree near Cambridge ID is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are looking at to make sure they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Cambridge ID private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Cambridge ID medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather 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 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Cambridge 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 be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want 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 finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Cambridge ID home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Cambridge ID area and across Idaho, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Cambridge ID physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with the Idaho Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Cambridge ID area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program 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 college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have relationships with Cambridge ID clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical 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 develop professional connections in the Cambridge health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Cambridge ID home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cambridge ID area, check that they are available. 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, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Cambridge Idaho?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cambridge ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Cambridge is a city in Washington County, Idaho, United States. The population was 328 at the 2010 census, down from 360 in 2000. It is the second largest city in the county, behind the significantly larger Weiser, the county seat.
Cambridge is located at 44°34′18″N 116°40′41″W / 44.57167°N 116.67806°W / 44.57167; -116.67806 (44.571535, −116.678013), at an elevation of 2,661 feet (811 m) above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.49 square miles (1.27 km2), of which, 0.48 square miles (1.24 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
Cambridge has a hot-summer mediterranean continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dsa), with cold, moist winters, gradual springs, hot and dry summers, and brief autumns. July is the hottest month, with a daily average of 74.1 °F (23.4 °C); highs reach 100 °F (38 °C) on 10.7 days in a typical year and 90 °F (32 °C) on 57 days. Yet because of the aridity, summer nights typically cool to below 60 °F (16 °C). January is the coldest month, with a daily average of 23.3 °F (−4.8 °C), and lows falling to 0 °F (−18 °C) or below on 9.6 nights per year. Snowfall averages 33 inches (84 cm) per season. Precipitation is usually infrequent and light, especially so during the summer months. Extremes have ranged from −35 °F (−37 °C) on December 13, 1919 to 117 °F (47 °C), recorded July 29, 1934.
Physical Therapist Courses Cambridge ID
Picking the best physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant 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 Courses. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Cambridge ID.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Idaho