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

How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Pullman 99163

Pullman WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Pullman WA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?

Pullman WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, including Pullman WA private practices, hospitals, 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 stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Pullman WA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Pullman WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Pullman WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Pullman WAWhile not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Pullman WA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want 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 colleges within the Pullman WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 choose an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist 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 agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Pullman WA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. 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 important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Pullman WA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Washington or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have associations with Pullman WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Pullman healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Pullman WA home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Pullman WA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure 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 Pullman Washington?

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

Pullman, Washington

Pullman is the largest city in Whitman County, located in southeastern Washington state within the Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest. The population was 29,799 at the 2010 census, and estimated to have reached 31,682 in 2014.[5] Originally incorporated as Three Forks, the city was renamed after industrialist George Pullman.

Pullman is noted as a vastly fertile agricultural area known for its many miles of rolling hills and the production of wheat and legumes. It is home to Washington State University, a public research land-grant university, and the international headquarters of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. Pullman is eight miles (13 km) from Moscow, Idaho, home to the University of Idaho, and is served by the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport.

In 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek selected Pullman as the "Best Place to Raise Kids" in Washington. Factors included affordability, safety, a family-friendly lifestyle, the quality of Pullman High School, the presence of Washington State University, and the natural environment of the area.[6]

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Pullman WA

Deciding on the best physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college 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 appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Pullman WA.

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