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

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Montesano 98563

Montesano WA physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near Montesano WA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are looking at to make certain they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Montesano WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, including Montesano WA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Montesano WA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Montesano WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Montesano WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.

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 attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Montesano WAAlthough not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Montesano WA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you probably have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Montesano WA area and across Washington, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Montesano WA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Montesano WA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be practicing. In every 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 vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Montesano WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also 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 Montesano medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Montesano WA home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask 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 may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Montesano WA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol 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 Montesano Washington?

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

Montesano, Washington

According to Edwin Van Syckle, a portion of the present day town of Montesano was first platted in 1870 by Samuel Henry Williams, who purchased land in what was known as Medcalf Prairie, named after the early settler William Medcalf. At about the same time, surveyor Charles Newton Byles also bought a farm from Walter King on the present day site of Montesano on 9 April 1870[6] and later platted 3 blocks on the west side of Main Street.[7] The town of Montesano was born even though it was not incorporated until 26 November 1883 by the Washington Territorial Legislature.[8]

Prior to that time, the name Montesano was used to refer to the homestead of Isaiah Lancaster Scammon and his wife Lorinda. They filed a 640 Donation Land Claim on 15 January 1853 on the Chehalis River, opposite the mouth of The Wynoochee River, in the area now referred to as South Montesano. The Scammon home was often referred to as Scammon’s Landing or Scammon’s Hotel because it was an important stopping point along the Chehalis River for early pioneers, and the furthest up-river mooring-point and railroad junction for seagoing ships.[7]

According to Edmond S. Meany, in 1860 the county seat of what was then called Chehalis County was moved to "the place of J.L. Scammons". Mrs. Lorinda Scammon was very religious and wished to have the place named "Mount Zion". Another early settler, Samuel James, suggested "Montesano", which was derived from Spanish to mean "mountain of health"; it was said that as this had a more pleasant sound and meant about the same. The suggestion was approved and soon after, a post office was secured with the name Montesano.[8] The people of Chehalis County voted to move the county seat to the platted town of Montesano in 1886 and the Scammon home was then known as South Montesano.[8]

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Montesano WA

Choosing the ideal physical therapy school is an important first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Montesano WA.

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