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

How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Prescott 99348

Prescott WA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Prescott WA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Prescott WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, including Prescott 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 earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Prescott 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. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Prescott 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 alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Prescott WA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently 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 taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Prescott WAWhile not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Prescott WA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Prescott WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 enroll in an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Prescott WA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It might also be prudent to contact the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate 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 hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Prescott 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 even exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ 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 Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Prescott WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Prescott health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. 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 therapy college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Prescott WA home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible 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 assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Prescott WA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Prescott Washington?

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

Prescott, Washington

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 318 people, 136 households, and 84 families residing in the city. The population density was 795.0 inhabitants per square mile (307.0/km2). There were 156 housing units at an average density of 390.0 per square mile (150.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.9% White, 0.6% African American, 0.9% Native American, 6.0% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.4% of the population.

There were 136 households of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.2% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 44.8 years. 23.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18.6% were from 25 to 44; 35.5% were from 45 to 64; and 14.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.3% male and 49.7% female.

Choose the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Prescott WA

Choosing the right physical therapy program is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Prescott WA.

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