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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Bellevue 98004

Bellevue WA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Bellevue WA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in 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 evaluated in addition to 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 what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Bellevue WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Bellevue WA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Bellevue WA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more 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 routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Bellevue WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Bellevue WA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Bellevue WAWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so 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 college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bellevue WA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Bellevue WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning 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 agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Bellevue WA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Bellevue WA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have partnerships with Bellevue WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Bellevue health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical 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 a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Bellevue WA residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

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

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bellevue WA area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bellevue Washington?

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

Bellevue, Washington

Bellevue (/ˈbɛlvjuː/ BEL-vyoo) is a city in the Eastside region of King County, Washington, United States, across Lake Washington from Seattle. As the third-largest city in the Seattle metropolitan area, Bellevue has variously been characterized as an edge city, a suburb, boomburb, or satellite city.[4][5] Its population was 144,444 in a 2017 census estimate.

Prior to 2008, downtown Bellevue underwent rapid change, with many high rise projects under construction, and was relatively unaffected by the economic downturn. The downtown area is currently the second largest city center in Washington state with 1,300 businesses, 45,000 employees and 10,200 residents.[6] Based on per capita income, Bellevue is the 6th wealthiest of 522 communities in the state of Washington.[7] In 2008, Bellevue was named number 1 in CNNMoney's list of the best places to live and launch a business,[8] and in 2010 was again ranked as the 4th best place to live in America.[9] In 2014, Bellevue was ranked as the 2nd best place to live by USA Today.[10] More than 145 companies have been located in Bellevue. Current companies with headquarters in Bellevue include Expedia, T-Mobile and Valve Corporation.

Bellevue was settled in 1869 by William Meydenbauer and Aaron Mercer, who claimed homestead tracts several miles apart. Prior to the opening of the Lake Washington Floating Bridge in 1940, Bellevue was a rural area with little development. Although it was small, developers were pushing to change that; in the 1920s, James S. Ditty predicted that it would become a city with a population of 200,000.[12] He envisioned plans that included the bridging of Lake Washington and an area filled with golf courses and airports.[13] His map with these visions was published in 1928.[13]

Select the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Bellevue WA

Deciding on the right physical therapist program is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize 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 field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Bellevue WA.

A Few More Interesting Locations in Washington

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