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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Dallesport 98617

Dallesport WA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Dallesport WA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides 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?

Dallesport WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, such as Dallesport WA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Dallesport WA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

Dallesport 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 choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Dallesport WA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and often 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 also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.

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 available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Dallesport WAAlthough not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Dallesport WA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Dallesport WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you select the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Dallesport WA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Dallesport 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 outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have partnerships with Dallesport WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Dallesport medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering 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 speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Dallesport WA residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Dallesport WA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dallesport Washington?

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

Dallesport, Washington

Traditionally a site of the Wishram tribe (Called Echeloots by Lewis and Clark), who lived on the north bank of the Columbia about 10 miles in both directions from The Dalles, Oregon. Although the Wishrams were included in the Treaty of Yakima, they resisted removal to the Yakama Reservation. Indian burials from Memaloose Island in the Columbia were removed to the Wish-ham Cemetery near Dallesport prior to the filling of Lake Celilo. The loss of their traditional fishing grounds at Celilo Falls during the construction of The Dalles Dam in March 1957 dealt both a spiritual and an economic blow to the tribe.[3]

Originally called Rockport or Rockland Flats, this was the site of the first ferry crossing in the area, beginning in 1854. Rockland Flats was the original seat of Clickitat County (The name of the county was spelled with a 'C' until an official name change in 1869), and remained so until 1878. Riverboat traffic moved up and down the river, but could not pass the falls at the Dalles and Celilo Falls. Portage was originally via a 19-mile-long (31 km) wagon road circumventing the falls. The Oregon Portage Railroad allowed passage of goods and travelers by rail beginning in 1863, but shippers chafed at the monopoly. In 1905, Congress approved 8.5-mile canal with locks on the north shore to bypass the falls. The Dalles-Celilo Canal opened May 5, 1915. The canal incorporated 5 locks with a total 90-foot lift. The canal remained in use until it was flooded by the Dalles Dam in 1957.[4]

The idea of a bridge crossing at this location was talked about beginning in the late 19th century, but was not approved until 1947. The Dalles Bridge remained unbuilt until Congress approved the Dalles Dam in 1951. The bridge was opened December 18, 1953.[5]

Choose the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Dallesport WA

Picking the best physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools 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 licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Dallesport WA.

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