Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Long Beach WA

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Program near Long Beach 98631

Long Beach WA physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Long Beach WA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss 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?

Long Beach WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, including Long Beach WA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Long Beach WA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Long Beach WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Long Beach WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about two 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 developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only 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 attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Long Beach WAAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Long Beach WA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Long Beach WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 enroll in an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Long Beach WA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. 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 colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once 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 Long Beach WA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum 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 therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Long Beach WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Long Beach healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Long Beach WA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Long Beach WA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Long Beach Washington?

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

Long Beach, Washington

Long Beach began when Henry Harrison Tinker bought a land claim from Charles E. Reed in 1880. He platted the town and called it "Tinkerville."[7] Long Beach was officially incorporated on January 18, 1922. From 1889 to 1930, a narrow gauge railroad called the Ilwaco Railway and Navigation Company ran up the whole peninsula.

The Long Beach depot was built between First and Second Streets on the east side of the track, which ran north along "B" Street.[8] A major destination in Long Beach was Tinker's Hotel, later renamed the Long Beach Hotel, and built very close to the station. This was the second hotel built at the site by Henry Harrison Tinker, the founder of Long Beach. Tinker's first hotel burned down in 1894. He built another one just a few feet to the east and south of the rail depot.[9] The image in the gallery shows a crowd waiting for the train sometime between 1901 and 1907. Just across the tracks (which doubled in this area)[10] from Tinker's Hotel in Long Beach was the Portland Hotel. The Portland Hotel, owned by the Hanniman family featured an enormous round (and unique) turret-like structure. The Portland Hotel burned down on December 6, 1914, and was not replaced.[9] The Driftwood Hotel was another common Long Beach destination.

The boardwalk area near the station was known as "Rubberneck Row."[11] Businesses existing in August 1911 that can be identified along Rubberneck Row from photographs (see images in this article) include, on the west side of the tracks, an establishment advertising "Baths" (possibly the Crystal Baths, an indoor swimming pool), Milton York Candies, a "Postal Shop," and a soda fountain just across from the station advertising "Milk Shake." A somewhat earlier photograph shows a sign for a livery stable immediately to the west across the tracks from Tinker's Hotel, followed (proceeding southwards) by a barber shop, "Vincent's Souvenirs," and "The Candy Man". A banner stretching above the tracks advertises a restaurant. The photo published by Feagans shows it was produced by H.A. Vincent, Ilwaco and Long Beach, who was probably the owner of Vincent's Souvenirs.[12] Then, in the late 80's, the Marsh's free Museum was made to show people wonders of the northwest.

Pick the Best Physical Therapy College near Long Beach WA

Deciding on the best physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to view 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 practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Long Beach WA.

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