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

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Longview 98632

Longview WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Longview WA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are considering to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Longview WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Longview WA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Longview WA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Longview WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Longview WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing 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 complete, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Longview WAWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Longview WA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you probably have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Longview WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Longview WA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It may 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 schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, 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 Longview WA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Washington or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to 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 performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have associations with Longview WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Longview healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Longview WA residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Longview WA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Longview Washington?

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

Longview, Washington

Longview is a city in Cowlitz County, Washington, United States. It is the principal city of the "Longview, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area", which encompasses all of Cowlitz County. Longview's population was 36,648 at the time of the 2010 census and it is the largest city in Cowlitz County. The city is located in southwestern Washington, at the junction of the Cowlitz and Columbia rivers. Longview shares a border with Kelso to the east, which is the county seat.

The Long-Bell Lumber Company, led by Robert A. Long, decided in 1918 to buy a great expanse of timberland in Cowlitz County. A total of 14,000 workers were needed to run the two large mills as well as lumber camps that were planned. The number of workers needed was more than a lumber town, or the nearest town, could provide. Long planned and built a complete city in 1921 that could support a population of up to 50,000 and provide labor for the mills as well as attracting other industries. Several buildings in the city were built from Long's private funds.[6]

The Longview area was first settled by European-Americans, led by pioneers Harry and Rebecca Jane Huntington, in 1849. The area was named Monticello in honor of Thomas Jefferson's home in Virginia. In 1852 a group assembled in what would be called the "Monticello Convention" to petition Congress for statehood to be called "Columbia". Congress agreed to statehood but as Washington, after President Washington, to avoid confusion with the District of Columbia. A monument to the convention is located near the Longview Civic Center.[7]

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Longview WA

Deciding on the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Longview WA.

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