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

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Program near Centerville 98613

Centerville WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Centerville WA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just 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 along with cost and location. But before we cover 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?

Centerville WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, such as Centerville WA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people 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 issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Centerville WA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

Centerville WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus 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 Centerville WA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of 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 instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Centerville WAWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Centerville WA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Centerville WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 enroll in an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Centerville WA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school options. It might also be prudent to contact the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Centerville WA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Washington or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Centerville WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Centerville healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want 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 classes. 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 talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Centerville WA home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Centerville WA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative 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 obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Centerville Washington?

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

Centerville, Washington

This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Centerville has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[5]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 120 people, 47 households, and 36 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 30.2 people per square mile (11.7/km²). There were 49 housing units at an average density of 12.4/sq mi (4.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 96.67% White, 0.83% Native American, 0.83% from other races, and 1.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.17% of the population.

There were 47 households out of which 21.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.2% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.3% were non-families. 17.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 2.81.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Centerville WA

Selecting the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Centerville WA.

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