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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Garfield 99130

Garfield WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Garfield WA is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. 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 enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Garfield WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Garfield WA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Garfield WA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

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

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of 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 Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Garfield WAWhile not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Garfield WA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Garfield WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Garfield WA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice 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 College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Garfield WA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although 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 additional exams.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Garfield WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Garfield healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? 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 one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average 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 an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Garfield WA home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Support Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Garfield WA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Garfield Washington?

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

Garfield County, Washington

Garfield County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,266,[1] making it the least populous county in Washington; with about 3.2 inhabitants per square mile (1.2/km2), it is also the least densely populated county in Washington. The county seat and only city is Pomeroy.[2]

The area delineated by the future Washington state boundary began to be colonized at the start of the nineteenth century, both by Americans and Canadians. However, the majority of Canadian exploration and interest in the land was due to the fur trade, whereas American settlers were principally seeking land for agriculture and cattle raising. The Treaty of 1818 provided for dual control of this area by US and Canadian government officials. During this period, the future Washington Territory was divided into two administrative zones: Clark County and Lewis County (made official in 1845).

The dual-control concept was unwieldy and led to continual argument, and occasional conflict. The status of the Washington area was settled in 1846, when the Oregon Treaty ceded the land south of North latitude 49 degrees to American control.

Select the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Garfield WA

Picking the right physical therapist college is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Garfield WA.

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