Physical Therapy Assistant Schools in Idaho

How many physical therapy assistant schools in Idaho are there? In fact, there’s only one school in the state currently offering an accredited PTA program: the College of Technology at Idaho State University. ISU is situated in Pocatello, Idaho, a city which takes its name from the chief of a Native American tribe which gave right-of-way to the first railroad in the state to cross the Fort Hall Indian Reservation.

ISU’s College of Technology caters for about 2000 of the university’s 15,500 students, offering technical and professional education within the scope of the University. As well as the Associate level physical therapy assistant degree program, it also provides programs to bachelor’s and master’s degrees and certificates.

ISU’s PTA program class size is 20 students, and the courses begin each year in August. Students successfully graduating from the program are awarded an Associate of Applied Science degree, and are subsequently eligible to sit the National Physical Therapy Exam as part of their application for licensure from the state jurisdiction. In Idaho, this is the Idaho’s Physical Therapy Licensure Board, located in Boise.

Physical Therapy Assistant Schools in Idaho

As there aren’t any other physical therapy assistant schools in Idaho running accredited programs, you can expect that there will be competition for places. Class sizes on such programs are usually limited by factors such as space for clinical experiences, so students interested in applying to the ISU program should research requirements early enough to complete pre-requisite courses and other required criteria. ISU’s PTA program operates a selective entry policy, and conditions include:

  • A 2.5 GPA in all classes
  • passing scores in general education subjects such as English, Psychology, Biology, Mathematics
  • at least 40 hours of voluntary work or work experience under the supervision of a PT or PTA in a physical therapy location, preferably an acute care setting

Before embarking upon their course, successful applicants also needs to satisfy general requirements such as a criminal background check, health screening, and full history of immunizations.

The physical therapy assistant program at Idaho State lasts four and a half semesters, integrating introductory medical courses such as anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and an introduction to kinesiology, with the principal technical components of the program, such as applying to kinesiology, physical therapy procedures, pathology, assessment for physical therapy assistants, therapeutic exercise, and a schedule of clinical experiences. There is a prescribed sequence to these courses, all of which needs to be completed with minimum grade C.

Employment Prospects for Physical Therapy Assistants in Idaho

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects in much faster than average growth in this industry, expecting a 35% increase in employment across the country. It’s impossible to be precise about employment figures and salary levels based on surveys, because they are based on samples and because in this industry, many professionals are self-employed. But BLS data from 2010 gives an idea of employment levels, showing 190 physical therapy assistants in employment in the state earning an hourly mean wage of $22.32. Assuming full time employment of 40 hours a week, this would equate to an annual mean salary of $46,410.

Alternatives to Physical Therapy Assistant Schools in Idaho

Figures like these give an idea of the earning potential for PTAs in this part of the country. Prospective PT assistants might also look to neighboring areas such as Washington State, which currently has six schools offering accredited programs, including one (Whatcom Community College, in Bellingham, WA) that offers an option to study on a part-time, hybrid program, in which some parts of the course may be studied online. But as there are no other physical therapy assistant schools in Idaho at the present time, local students aspiring to work in this profession can be expected to focus their attention on ISU’s program as the only source of accredited training in state.

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