How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Meridian Idaho
Getting a physical therapy degree near Meridian ID is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to make sure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we talk about 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Meridian ID hospitals, health clinics, 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 earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Meridian ID medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, 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 readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Meridian ID area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training 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 important first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 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 total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out 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 present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Meridian ID residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Meridian ID area and across Idaho, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 college, it may also obtain 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 just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several Meridian ID physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Idaho Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Meridian ID area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements vary 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 additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have associations with Meridian ID hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Meridian health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at 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 decision. 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 as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Meridian ID home. Those who have chosen 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 concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of aid is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Meridian ID area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify 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 obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Meridian Idaho?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Meridian ID area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Meridian is a city located in Ada County in the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census, the population of Meridian was 75,092 making it the third largest city in Idaho after Boise and Nampa. Meridian is considered the state's fastest-growing city and among the fastest-growing cities in the United States. A 2015 census estimate placed the population at approximately 90,739. With a 2018 non-census population estimate of 106,410 and a 1,000 percent increase in population since 1990, the city is currently estimated as the second largest in the state.
The town was established in 1891 on the Onweiler farm north of the present site and was called Hunter. Two years later an I.O.O.F. lodge was organized and called itself Meridian because it was located on the Boise Meridian and the town was renamed. The Settlers' Irrigation Ditch, 1892, changed the arid region into a productive farming community which was incorporated in 1902.
Early settlers arriving in the area came with no knowledge of gravity flow irrigation. Their previous homes were in areas where rain provided the needed moisture to raise crops. Irrigation soon became a necessity, since having a water source was a requirement for receiving the patent for the land from the U.S. Land Office. Irrigation districts, such as the Nampa-Meridian and Settlers irrigation districts, continue to serve the immediate Meridian area.
How Long To Become A Physical Therapist Meridian ID
Choosing the best physical therapist program is an important first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Long To Become A Physical Therapist. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist program bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Meridian ID.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Idaho
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