Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Friday Harbor WA

How to Choose a Physical Therapy Training Program near Friday Harbor 98250

Friday Harbor WA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Friday Harbor WA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Friday Harbor WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Friday Harbor WA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Friday Harbor WA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Friday Harbor WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Friday Harbor WA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and often 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 also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Friday Harbor WAAlthough not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so 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 necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Friday Harbor WA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many 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 motivated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Friday Harbor WA area and across 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 certain that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Friday Harbor WA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college options. It might also be prudent 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 relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Friday Harbor WA area? If a college 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 broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Washington or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While 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 supplemental exams.

Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have associations with Friday Harbor WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Friday Harbor medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Friday Harbor WA residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Friday Harbor WA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Friday Harbor Washington?

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

Friday Harbor, Washington

Friday Harbor is a town in San Juan County, Washington, United States. The population was 2,162 at 2010 Census.[2] Located on San Juan Island, Friday Harbor is the major commercial center of the San Juan Islands archipelago and is the county seat of San Juan County.[6]

The town's name originates from Joseph Poalie Friday, a native Hawaiian. Friday worked at the Pugets Sound Agricultural Company's Fort Cowlitz, from 1841 to 1859–60 and later moved north to San Juan Island, raising and herding sheep around the harbor.[8]

Sailing ships, and later, the steamships of the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet, visited the harbor on a regular basis hauling passengers, mail and freight. Freight from the island would include apples, pears, cherries, strawberries, peas, cream, eggs, chickens, grain, salmon, and lime. All were produced on or around San Juan Island. The Great Depression, World War II, the pea weevil, and competition from Eastern Washington growers brought about the decline of traditional island industries, diminishing Friday Harbor's export trade. The 1970s brought new industries - tourism, retirement, real estate, and construction. Today, Friday Harbor is again busy and prosperous.

Pick the Right Physical Therapy School near Friday Harbor WA

Choosing the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active 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 additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Friday Harbor WA.

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