Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – College Place WA

How to Pick a Physical Therapist Program near College Place 99324

College Place WA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near College Place WA is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to make certain they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must 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 the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

College Place WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including College Place 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other College Place WA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

College Place WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the College Place WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 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 requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in College Place WAAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s College Place WA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your initial questions, including the kind 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 schools within the College Place WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to be sure that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several College Place WA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to contact 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 important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the College Place WA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with College Place WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way 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 may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the College Place medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their College Place WA residence. Individuals who have chosen 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the College Place WA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative 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 work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near College Place Washington?

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

College Place, Washington

College Place is the home of Walla Walla University (formerly Walla Walla College, thus the city's name), a Seventh-day Adventist operated liberal arts University. Because of the primary Adventist population, most downtown College Place businesses close on Saturday, reopening in most cases on Sunday. College Avenue is the main street running North to South from Highway 12 to the Milton-Freewater Highway.

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 8,765 people, 3,523 households, and 2,096 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,295.1 inhabitants per square mile (1,272.2/km2). There were 3,764 housing units at an average density of 1,415.0 per square mile (546.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.7% White, 1.6% African American, 0.7% Native American, 1.9% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 6.8% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.5% of the population.

There were 3,523 households of which 24.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.5% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.85.

Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near College Place WA

Selecting the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in College Place WA.

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