Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Maple Falls WA

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Maple Falls 98266

Maple Falls WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Maple Falls WA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled 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 must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Maple Falls WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Maple Falls WA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate 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.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Maple Falls WA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Maple Falls WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Maple Falls WA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Maple Falls WAAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Maple Falls WA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many 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 motivated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Maple Falls WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you pick the school that is best 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 thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 select an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality 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 important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Maple Falls WA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It may also be prudent to check with the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may 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 hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Maple Falls WA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have relationships with Maple Falls WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Maple Falls medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Maple Falls WA residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Maple Falls WA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Maple Falls Washington?

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

Maple Falls, Washington

Maple Falls is located on the Mount Baker Highway, east of Bellingham, three miles east of a junction at Kendall, with State Route 547, which connects over a low pass on the northeast flank of Sumas Mountain to Sumas and the border crossing with Abbotsford, British Columbia.

The climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Maple Falls has a marine west coast climate, abbreviated "Cfb" on climate maps.[4]

Among the first settlers of Maple Falls was Herbert Everant Leavitt, a native of Melbourne, Quebec, Canada.[5] After leaving Canada, Leavitt spent time in Truckee, California, where he worked as a carpenter before setting out for Columbia Township in Washington state. In 1888 Leavitt took up a homestead in Whatcom County where present-day Maple Falls is located. Leavitt packed his supplies in from Bellingham, Washington some 30 miles to his new farm. In subsequent years, besides farming, Leavitt operated a blacksmith shop at Maple Falls, was the proprietor of a Bellingham restaurant, and ran two hotels, in addition to serving as county constable for some 24 years.[6]

Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Maple Falls WA

Selecting the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different schools 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 adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Maple Falls WA.

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