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

How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Medina 98039

Medina WA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Medina WA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Medina WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, including Medina WA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Medina WA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

Medina WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Medina WA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. 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 Medina WAWhile not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Medina WA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Medina WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 select an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. 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 Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Medina WA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college options. 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 colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Medina WA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Medina WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Medina medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Medina WA home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Medina 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 need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Medina Washington?

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

Medina, Washington

Medina (/məˈdaɪnə/ ( listen)) is a mostly residential city in Eastside, King County, Washington, United States.[6] The city is on a peninsula in Lake Washington, on the opposite shore from Seattle, bordered by Clyde Hill and Hunts Point to the east and water on all other sides. The city's population was 2,969 at the 2010 census. Billionaires Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, along with a number of Microsoft executives, or other associates of Gates, have homes in Medina.[7][8]

Designated as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation since 2006,[10] Medina has always been a leader in urban tree codes. Since 1972, the City of Medina has codified the value that trees bring to a community, and the Tree Code ordinances have consistently been modified throughout the years. Major revisions in 2000, 2003 and 2006 have improved the code such that it is one of the most extensive in the region. The current code (2006 edition) protects large trees and requires significant mitigation if they are removed.[11]

In 2011, the City Council directed the Planning Commission to update the existing tree code. Dividing the task into two phases, the Planning Commission brought Phase I, which were largely administrative changes, to Council in 2014, where it was passed into law. Phase II changes have been underway since then, with much work and input from the community, an ad hoc tree committee, the Planning Commission and City Council. It is anticipated that the new code will be adopted in mid-2015.[12]

Select the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Medina WA

Picking the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Medina WA.

A Few More Interesting Locations in Washington

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