Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – La Conner WA

How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near La Conner 98257

La Conner WA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near La Conner WA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school 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 along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

La Conner WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, including La Conner WA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. 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 people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive 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.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other La Conner WA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering 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 Therapy Degrees Offered

La Conner WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable 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 progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the La Conner WA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in La Conner WAAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school 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 La Conner WA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the La Conner WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 enroll in an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for 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. Call some La Conner WA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, 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 La Conner 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 affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

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

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with La Conner WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the La Conner health care community and help with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class 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 therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student 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 a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their La Conner WA home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the La Conner WA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near La Conner Washington?

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

La Conner, Washington

La Conner is a town in Skagit County, Washington, United States with a population of 891 at the 2010 census. it is included in the Mount Vernon–Anacortes, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area. In the month of April, the town annually hosts the majority of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival events. The center of town, roughly bounded by Second, Morris and Commercial Streets and the Swinomish Channel, is a historic district and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

La Conner was first settled in May 1867 by Alonzo Low and was then known by its post office name, Swinomish. In 1869, J.S. Conner bought the settlement's trading post and in 1870 had the name changed to honor his wife, Louisa Ann Conner. The French-appearing "La" represented her first and middle initials. La Conner was once the county seat of Skagit County.[6]

As of 2000 the median income for a household in the town was $42,344, and the median income for a family was $52,083. Males had a median income of $40,074 versus $26,875 for females. The per capita income for the town was $24,308. About 8.8% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.3% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near La Conner WA

Picking the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in La Conner WA.

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