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

How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Chehalis 98532

Chehalis WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Chehalis WA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior 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 nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Chehalis WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Chehalis WA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Chehalis WA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Chehalis WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered 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. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Chehalis WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish 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 must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Chehalis WAWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Chehalis WA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Chehalis WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Chehalis WA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may 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 check with the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Chehalis WA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Chehalis WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Chehalis healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Chehalis WA residence. Those who have opted 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chehalis WA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Chehalis Washington?

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

Chehalis, Washington

Chehalis began as a settlement around a warehouse beside a railroad track in 1873, when the Northern Pacific Railroad built northward from Kalama to Tacoma, and ignored Claquato, then the county seat three miles to the west. After the Northern Pacific bypassed Claquato, the county seat was moved to Chehalis, leaving Claquato little more than a historical landmark. By 1874, a store was added to the warehouse, and several houses were constructed. The new town was first named Saundersville, for S.S. Saunders, on whose donation land claim it was founded. In 1879, the name was changed to Chehalis, named after the Chehalis people; Chehalis was a native term roughly meaning "shifting sands", denoting the muddy bottomland along the Chehalis River which had long vexed stagecoach travelers on the Washington arm of the Oregon Trail between Kalama and New Market (now Tumwater). Chehalis was incorporated on November 23, 1883.

Logging soon began in the nearby forests. Lumber workers of Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, and Scots-Irish descent arrived and settled in the neighboring valleys. In 1940, the chief local industries were: dairying, poultry raising, fruit growing, milk condensing, fruit and vegetable packing, brick and tile manufacturing, coal mining, portable house manufacturing, and fern shipping.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.55 square miles (14.37 km2), of which, 5.53 square miles (14.32 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.[1]

Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Chehalis WA

Deciding on the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Chehalis WA.

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