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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Buckley 98321

Buckley WA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Buckley WA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important 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 what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Buckley WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Buckley WA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Buckley WA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about 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 extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Buckley WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, 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 explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Buckley WA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some 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 before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Buckley WAWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs 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 requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Buckley WA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Buckley WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 enroll in an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Buckley WA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Buckley WA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that supports 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have partnerships with Buckley WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Buckley health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Buckley WA residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Buckley WA area, make certain 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 carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Buckley Washington?

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

Buckley, Washington

Buckley is a city in Pierce County, Washington, United States. The population was 4,354 at the 2010 census and has grown to 4,550 people as of 2015 estimate. Buckley sits below Mount Rainier and is well known for hosting the annual Log Show.

Buckley is located at 47°9′44″N 122°1′40″W / 47.16222°N 122.02778°W / 47.16222; -122.02778 (47.162250, -122.027744)[6] near the communities of Enumclaw, Bonney Lake, and Wilkeson.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.95 square miles (10.23 km2), of which, 3.87 square miles (10.02 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km2) is water.[2]

Select the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Buckley WA

Deciding on the right physical therapy college is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Buckley WA.

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