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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Clarkston 99403

Clarkston WA physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Clarkston WA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Clarkston WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Clarkston WA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Clarkston WA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Clarkston WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Clarkston WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor 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 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 prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Clarkston WAWhile not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated 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 part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Clarkston WA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Clarkston WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering 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 choose an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school 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, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Clarkston WA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school 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 couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Clarkston WA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.

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

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have relationships with Clarkston WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Clarkston medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Clarkston WA home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school 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 typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Clarkston WA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Clarkston Washington?

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

Clarkston, Washington

Clarkston was first settled in 1862 by Robert Bracken,[6] and was officially incorporated on August 14, 1902. Before becoming an official town, the area was called Jawbone Flats. The name Clarkston is a reference to William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition fame.[7]Lewiston, across the Idaho state line from Clarkston, is named for Meriwether Lewis, and is the larger and older of the two cities. Neither Lewis or Clark ever visited the Clarkston side of the river.

This region experiences hot and dry summers, with average monthly temperatures in the upper 80s to lower 90s, but some days reach 100°F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Clarkston has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[8]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 7,229 people, 3,226 households, and 1,744 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,596.5 inhabitants per square mile (1,388.6/km2). There were 3,411 housing units at an average density of 1,697.0 per square mile (655.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.1% White, 0.7% African American, 2.1% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.0% of the population.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Clarkston WA

Picking the ideal physical therapy program is an important first decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Clarkston WA.

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