How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Wenatchee 98801
Earning a physical therapy degree near Wenatchee WA is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Wenatchee WA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Wenatchee WA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering 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 long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Wenatchee WA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Wenatchee WA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Wenatchee WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to be sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Wenatchee WA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Wenatchee WA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Washington or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Wenatchee WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Wenatchee health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher 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 an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Wenatchee WA residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wenatchee WA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Wenatchee Washington?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wenatchee WA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Wenatchee (/wɛˈnætʃiː/ wen-ATCH-ee) is a city located in north-central Washington and is the largest city and county seat of Chelan County, Washington, United States. The population within the city limits in 2010 was 31,925. In 2014, the Office of Financial Management estimated the population at 33,070. Located at the confluence of the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers near the eastern foothills of the Cascade Range, Wenatchee lies on the western side of the Columbia River, across from the city of East Wenatchee. The Columbia River forms the boundary between Chelan and Douglas County. Wenatchee is the principal city of the Wenatchee–East Wenatchee, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Chelan and Douglas counties (total population around 110,884). However, the "Wenatchee Valley Area" generally refers to the land between Rocky Reach and Rock Island Dam on both banks of the Columbia, which includes East Wenatchee, Rock Island, and Malaga.
The city was named for the nearby Wenatchi Indian tribe. The name is a Sahaptin word that means "river which comes [or whose source is] from canyons" or "robe of the rainbow". Awenatchela means "people at the source [of a river]". The city of Wenatchee shares its name with the Wenatchee River, Lake Wenatchee and the Wenatchee National Forest.
Wenatchee is known as the "Apple Capital of the World" due to the valley's many orchards. The city is also sometimes referred to as the "Buckle of the Power Belt of the Great Northwest". The "Power Belt of the Great Northwest" is a metaphor for the series of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River. Rock Island Dam is located nearest to the middle of this "belt", and so was labeled the "Buckle". This saying is printed at the top of every issue of Wenatchee's newspaper, the Wenatchee World, but is no longer in common use elsewhere.
Select the Best Physical Therapist School near Wenatchee WA
Choosing the best physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk with current 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 additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Wenatchee WA.
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