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

How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Kittitas 98934

Kittitas WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Kittitas WA is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we talk about 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 is a Physical Therapist?

Kittitas WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Kittitas 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 earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Kittitas WA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather 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 Available

Kittitas WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable 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 descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Kittitas WA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 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 mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases 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 Kittitas WAWhile not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more 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 requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Kittitas WA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like 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 so many PT colleges within the Kittitas WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Kittitas WA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It may also be prudent to contact the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Kittitas WA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have associations with Kittitas WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Kittitas healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at 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 converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Kittitas WA home. Students 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kittitas WA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Kittitas Washington?

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

Kittitas County, Washington

Kittitas County /ˈkɪtɪtæs/ is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. The population was 46,205 in a 2017 census estimate. Its county seat and largest city is Ellensburg.[1] The county was created in November 1883 when it was carved out of Yakima County.[2] Kittitas County comprises the Ellensburg, Washington, Micropolitan Statistical Area.

There are numerous interpretations of the county's name, which is from the language of the Yakama Nation. According to one source, it "has been said to mean everything from 'white chalk' to 'shale rock' to 'shoal people' to 'land of plenty'". Most anthropologists and historians concede that each interpretation has some validity depending upon the particular dialect spoken.[3]

Indigenous peoples known as Kittitas (or Upper Yakima) occupied the lands along the Yakima River for hundreds of years before the present era. The Kittitas Valley was a traditional gathering place for tribes east of the Cascades.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Kittitas WA

Choosing the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different schools to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to 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 of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Kittitas WA.

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