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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Olympia 98501

Olympia WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Olympia WA is an important 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 illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Olympia WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Olympia WA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of 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 develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Olympia WA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Olympia WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Olympia WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have 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. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Olympia WAWhile not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Olympia WA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Olympia WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Olympia WA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program options. It might also be prudent to check with the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Olympia WA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have relationships with Olympia WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Olympia medical community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Olympia WA home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Olympia WA area, make sure 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 enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Olympia Washington?

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

Olympia, Washington

Olympia is the capital of the U.S. state of Washington and the county seat of Thurston County.[6] European settlers claimed the area in 1846, with the Treaty of Medicine Creek initiated in 1854, and the Treaty of Olympia initiated in January 1856.[7] Similar treaties had taken shape across the emerging United States as a tool of European colonization: these documents facilitated often coerced cession of land, originally belonging to indigenous peoples and tribes, to European settlers.

Olympia was incorporated as a town on January 28, 1859, and as a City in 1882.[8] The population was 46,479 as of the 2010 census, making it the 24th largest city in the state. The city borders Lacey to the east and Tumwater to the south. Olympia is a cultural center of the southern Puget Sound region. Olympia is located 60 miles (100 km) southwest of Seattle, the largest city in the state of Washington.

The site of Olympia has been home to Lushootseed-speaking peoples for thousands of years, including Squaxin, Nisqually, Puyallup, Chehalis, Suquamish, and Duwamish. These indigenous peoples were forcefully and often violently displaced from their territories upon the arrival of European settlers. Settler colonialism in the United States is considered by many to be a form of genocide committed against indigenous peoples. Unfortunately, there is a lack of neutral resources which inform understandings of Washington's pre-European history. Indeed, it is important to acknowledge that most of the information available about Olympia and the surrounding areas was created by European settlers, and thus offers an incomplete representation of history in which Native American perspectives are largely disregarded. Even modern accounts of Olympia's foundation[9] ignore the painful nature of its history of colonialism.

Choose the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Olympia WA

Choosing the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Olympia WA.

A Few More Interesting Locations in Washington

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    Business Results 1 - 10 of 77

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