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

How to Choose a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Dupont 98327

Dupont WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Dupont WA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to make certain they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Dupont WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Dupont WA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop 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
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Dupont WA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Dupont WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Dupont WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready 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 preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the USA. Some practicing 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 instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Dupont WAAlthough not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature 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 nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Dupont WA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Dupont WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to be sure that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 choose an online school, it can 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 organization. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Dupont WA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Dupont WA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Dupont WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Dupont healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Dupont WA residence. Students 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 concern. One thing 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Dupont WA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dupont Washington?

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

DuPont, Washington

For 10,000 years the Nisqually Tribe lived in relative peace and prosperity in its aboriginal homeland of about 2 million acres near the present-day towns of Olympia, Tenino, and Dupont, and extending to Mount Rainier. Tribal life changed radically with the advent of Euro-American settlement about 150 years ago. Forced to compromise its interests and rights over the years, the Tribe has always sought to maintain its integrity and dignity.[5] Subsisting on shellfish from the beaches and salmon from Sequalitchew Creek. Captain George Vancouver mapped the area in 1792, and in 1833, the Hudson's Bay Company established a fur trading post at Fort Nisqually. The fort was relocated upstream in 1843.[6]

The first school in the area was the Nisqually Methodist Mission school, which operated from 1840 through 1842. Chloe A. Clark was appointed teacher at the mission school.[7] The first public school was established in 1852, and in 1869, the federal government auctioned the site off to settlers. In 1906, DuPont purchased a 5-square-mile (13 km2) area for construction of an explosives plant. By 1909, the company town had more than 100 houses.[8]

DuPont was officially incorporated on March 26, 1912, and was re-incorporated in 1951.[8] DuPont has recently undergone a modern transformation as the modern planned community of "Northwest Landing" has been realized. The city is expected to have a built-out population of more than 12,000.

Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Dupont WA

Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the 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 following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Dupont WA.

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