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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist School near Manchester 98353

Manchester WA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Manchester WA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Manchester WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Manchester WA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Manchester WA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, 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 Therapy Degree Options

Manchester WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Manchester WA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally 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 finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Manchester WAAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Manchester WA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Manchester WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, 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 obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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 also. Call several Manchester WA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. 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 filed against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, 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 Manchester WA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Washington or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have partnerships with Manchester WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Manchester health care community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Manchester WA home. Students who have decided 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 importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Manchester WA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Manchester Washington?

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

Manchester, Washington

Manchester was established in the 1860s and was originally known as Brooklyn, after the borough in New York City. The name was changed to Manchester in 1892 in honor of the city of Manchester, England. Manchester was accessible by land via Shelton/Allyn/Belfair, however, the main population center, Seattle, had only boat access. After a permanent dock was built in 1908, regular steamboat service connected Manchester to nearby communities like Colby, Southworth, and Harper, and to Seattle across the water.

From 1925 to 1936, a ferry route across Puget Sound connected Manchester with Alki Point in West Seattle. When the Alki Point dock washed away in 1936, the Seattle terminus was shifted to Colman Dock on the Seattle central waterfront.[3]Ferry service was discontinued in 1949 and has never resumed.

In 1953, the library in Manchester was slated for destruction. The town pulled together and a new library was constructed in 1954. Today, Manchester has excellent views of Seattle, Mt. Rainier, and Puget Sound, has a public boat launch, a boat parade on the opening day of boating season, and sponsors salmon bakes at the Manchester library.

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy College near Manchester WA

Deciding on the best physical therapist college is an important first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve 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 field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Manchester WA.

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