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

How to Pick a Physical Therapist Program near Clinton 98236

Clinton WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Clinton WA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Clinton WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Clinton WA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, 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 course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Clinton WA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Clinton WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Clinton WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be 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 qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up 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 generally require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Clinton WAWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Clinton WA 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 expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Clinton WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Clinton WA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight 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 schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Clinton WA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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 program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have relationships with Clinton WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Clinton health care community and help with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Clinton WA residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern 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 program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Clinton WA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. 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 Clinton Washington?

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

Clinton, Washington

Clinton is a community and census-designated place (CDP) located on southern Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington, United States. The town was named after Clinton, Michigan.[3] As of the 2010 census, the village was 928. However, the post office serves at least 2,500 people.

Even though the village area of Clinton is small, people as far as 7 miles (11.5 km) away consider Clinton to be their home. Much of the village is situated on a high bluff overlooking Saratoga Passage on Puget Sound. The community of Columbia Beach, however, rests at sea level. To the north of the ferry dock is old Clinton, where the community started.

There are two grocery stores in Clinton, one in the downtown area and another a few miles west, at what has been named Ken's Korner. Additionally, Clinton has a Dairy Queen, the only fast food restaurant on the south end of Whidbey Island. The Sno-Isle Regional Library System recently built a library, supported by the "Friends of the Clinton Library".

Pick the Right Physical Therapist School near Clinton WA

Selecting the best physical therapy school is an important first decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Clinton WA.

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