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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Colfax 99111

Colfax WA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Colfax WA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss 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?

Colfax WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, such as Colfax WA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Colfax WA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of 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 extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

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

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 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 three years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Colfax WAWhile not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Colfax WA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Colfax WA area and across Washington, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 select an online program, it can also obtain 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 simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’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 as well. Get in touch with some Colfax WA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college selections. It might 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 colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant 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 left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Colfax WA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have relationships with Colfax WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Colfax medical community and help with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Colfax WA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Colfax WA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Colfax Washington?

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

Colfax, Washington

Colfax is the county seat of Whitman County, Washington, United States.[5] The population was 2,805 at the 2010 census. The population is estimated at 2,826 per the State of Washington Office of Financial Management in 2015 making Colfax the second largest city in Whitman County behind Pullman. It is situated amidst wheat-covered hills in a valley at the confluence of the north and south forks of the Palouse River. U.S. Route 195, which forms the town's main street, intersects with State Route 26 at the north end of town; in the past, Colfax also lay at the junction of three major railway lines. It was named after Schuyler Colfax, the vice president from 1869-73.

Palouse Indians were the first known human inhabitants of the Colfax area. White settlers arrived in the summer of 1870, and soon built a sawmill. A flour mill and other businesses followed, and Colfax soon grew into a prosperous town. Originally, pioneer citizen James Perkins called the settlement "Belleville" in honor of his girlfriend; when he found a new love, he changed the town's name to Colfax[6] for then-Vice President Schuyler Colfax.[7][8]

Colfax was officially incorporated on November 29, 1873. In 1889–90, the town vied with several other finalists to become the site of a new state agricultural college, present-day Washington State University. The honor ultimately fell to nearby Pullman, 15 miles (24 km) southeast.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Colfax WA

Deciding on the right physical therapist program is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Colfax WA.

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