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

How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Kirkland 98033

Kirkland WA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Kirkland WA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are looking at to ensure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Kirkland WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, including Kirkland WA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Kirkland WA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Kirkland WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Kirkland WA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.

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 offered in the United States. Some practicing 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 instituted.

Physical Therapist Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Kirkland WAWhile not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Kirkland WA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Kirkland WA area and across Washington, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Kirkland WA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might 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 placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Kirkland WA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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 college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Kirkland WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Kirkland healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Kirkland WA residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can offer 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 Kirkland WA area, make certain that they are available. 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, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Kirkland Washington?

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

Kirkland, Washington

Kirkland is a city in King County, Washington, United States. A suburb east of Seattle, its population was 88,630 in a 2017 census estimate, which made it the sixth largest city in the county and the twelfth largest in the state.

Kirkland was the original home of the Seattle Seahawks; the NFL team's headquarters and training facility were located at the Lake Washington Shipyard (now Carillon Point) along Lake Washington for their first ten seasons (1976–85), then at nearby Northwest University through 2007.[6] Warehouse chain Costco previously had its headquarters in Kirkland. While Costco is now headquartered in Issaquah the city is the namesake of its "Kirkland Signature" store brand.

The 1982 Kirkland National Little League team won the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. That event is the subject of the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Little Big Men. It also was the home to Little League's 1992 Big League Softball World Series Champions representing the Eastside District Nine Leagues. Since 1999 Kirkland has been the home of the Little League Junior Softball World Series held each August at Kirkland's Everest Park.

Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy School near Kirkland WA

Choosing the ideal physical therapy school is an important first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach 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 best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Kirkland WA.

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