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Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – West Yellowstone MT

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Degree Program near West Yellowstone 59758

West Yellowstone MT physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near West Yellowstone MT is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to 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?

West Yellowstone MT physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, including West Yellowstone MT 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 touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other West Yellowstone MT medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, 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 Degrees

West Yellowstone MT physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the West Yellowstone MT area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in West Yellowstone MTAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s West Yellowstone MT home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar 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 alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you probably have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the West Yellowstone MT area and across Montana, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several West Yellowstone MT physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Montana Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the West Yellowstone MT area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Montana or the state where you will be working. 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 college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have associations with West Yellowstone MT clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the West Yellowstone medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their West Yellowstone MT home. Students 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the West Yellowstone MT area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near West Yellowstone Montana?

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

West Yellowstone, Montana

West Yellowstone is a town in Gallatin County, Montana, adjacent to Yellowstone National Park. The population was 1,271 at the 2010 census. The town is served by Yellowstone Airport. It is part of the Bozeman, MT Micropolitan Statistical Area. It was founded in June 1908 when the Oregon Short Line Railroad was completed. The town's name changed several times until West Yellowstone was settled upon in 1920.[4]

For many, the town of West Yellowstone is a place to stay while traveling through Yellowstone National Park. The town is separated into two parts, residential and commercial, roughly at the road D Parkway. South of D Parkway (Alley) is mainly a business area; north of it is an area of homes and apartments. The area north of D Parkway is known to locals as the "Madison Addition". The town has one school, serving kindergarten through 12th grade.[5]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 1,271 people, 617 households, and 298 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,588.8 inhabitants per square mile (613.4/km2). There were 969 housing units at an average density of 1,211.3 per square mile (467.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 86.6% White, 0.4% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 7.5% from other races, and 3.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.9% of the population.

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy College near West Yellowstone MT

Deciding on the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. 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 additional critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in West Yellowstone MT.

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