Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Camas WA

How to Choose a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Camas 98607

Camas WA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Camas WA is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to make sure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Camas WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, such as Camas WA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Camas WA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into 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 prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Camas WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Camas WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and commonly 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 also must 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 complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.

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 USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Camas WAAlthough not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Camas WA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Camas WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important 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 agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Camas WA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It might also be prudent to contact the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Camas WA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Camas WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Camas healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Camas WA home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Camas WA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Camas Washington?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Camas WA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Camas, Washington

Camas /ˈkæməs/ is a city in Clark County, Washington, with a population of 19,355 at the 2010 census.[6] The east side of town borders the city of Washougal, Washington, and the west side of town borders Vancouver, Washington. Camas lies along the Washington side of the Columbia River, across from Troutdale, Oregon, and is part of the Portland metropolitan area.

Officially incorporated on June 18, 1906, the city is named after the camas lily, a plant with an onion-like bulb prized by Native Americans. At the west end of downtown Camas is a large Georgia-Pacific paper mill from which the high school teams get their name, "the Papermakers". A paper mill was first established in the city in 1883 with the support of Henry Pittock, a wealthy entrepreneur from England who had settled in Portland, Oregon, where he published The Oregonian.[8]

Pittock's LaCamas Colony bought 2600 acres in 1883, forming the Columbia River Paper Company the following year to begin production in 1885, before merging with Oregon City's Crown Paper Company to form Crown Columbia Paper in 1905. Converting from steam to electricity in 1913, it then merged with Willamette Paper in 1914 and then again in 1928 with Zellerbach Paper to become the largest paper company on the west coast, Crown Zellerbach. Changing from newsprint to toilet tissue in 1930, it temporarily produced shipyard parts during the second world war. In 1950 it was the first factory to produce folded paper napkins.[9] "Crown Z" was the area's biggest employer in 1971, with 2,643 of approximately 3,700 Clark County paper-mill workers. Various other mergers took place, until Georgia-Pacific's mill was the sole property of Koch Industries. In 2018, Koch announced plans to lay off approximately 200-300 workers, shutting down all equipment related to communications paper, fine paper conversion and pulping operations.[10]

Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Camas WA

Selecting the best physical therapist school is a necessary 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 pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Camas WA.

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