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

How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Oakesdale 99158

Oakesdale WA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Oakesdale WA is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Oakesdale WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Oakesdale WA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Oakesdale WA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Oakesdale WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Oakesdale WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and usually 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 must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing also.

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. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Oakesdale WAWhile not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Oakesdale WA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Oakesdale WA area and across Washington, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 select an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’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 agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Oakesdale 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 advice about your program selections. It may also be prudent 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 School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left because of 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Oakesdale WA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Washington or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have relationships with Oakesdale WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Oakesdale health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Oakesdale WA residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oakesdale WA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Oakesdale Washington?

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

Oakesdale, Washington

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 422 people, 166 households, and 123 families residing in the town. The population density was 405.8 inhabitants per square mile (156.7/km2). There were 196 housing units at an average density of 188.5 per square mile (72.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.2% White, 0.5% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.

There were 166 households of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.8% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 25.9% were non-families. 19.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the town was 44.4 years. 25.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 19.6% were from 25 to 44; 30.3% were from 45 to 64; and 18.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 47.6% male and 52.4% female.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Oakesdale WA

Picking the right physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Oakesdale WA.

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