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

How to Choose a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Lynnwood 98036

Lynnwood WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Lynnwood WA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Lynnwood WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, including Lynnwood WA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although 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 work in close association with other Lynnwood WA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Lynnwood WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Lynnwood WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be 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 colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 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 only for graduation but in some 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 holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Lynnwood WAAlthough not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Lynnwood WA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Lynnwood WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Lynnwood WA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lynnwood WA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both superior 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Lynnwood WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Lynnwood medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer 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 School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Lynnwood WA home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something 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 need 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 live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lynnwood WA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lynnwood Washington?

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

Lynnwood, Washington

Lynnwood is a city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States. The city is part of the Seattle metropolitan area and is located 16 miles (26 km) north of Seattle and 13 miles (21 km) south of Everett, near the junction of Interstate 5 and Interstate 405. It is the fourth-largest city in Snohomish County, with a population of 36,485 in the 2010 U.S. census.

Lynnwood is considered suburban in nature and acts as a bedroom community for job centers in Seattle, Everett and Bellevue. It has one of the largest concentrations of retail in the region, anchored by the Alderwood Mall and businesses along major streets. The city also has a community college, a convention center, and a major transit center, located in the developing city center.

The Lynnwood area was logged and settled by homesteaders in the late 19th century and early 20th century, including the development of Alderwood Manor as a planned farming community. Lynnwood, named for the wife of a realtor, emerged in the late 1940s around the intersection of Highway 99 and 196th Street Southwest. The city was incorporated on April 23, 1959, and grew into a suburban hub in the years following the completion of Interstate 5 and Interstate 405. Alderwood Mall opened in 1979 and spurred the transformation of eastern Lynnwood into a retail and office district.

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Lynnwood WA

Deciding on the ideal physical therapist program is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You might want to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program 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 right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Lynnwood WA.

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