Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Mercer Island WA

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist College near Mercer Island 98040

Mercer Island WA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Mercer Island WA is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to make sure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. 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 need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about 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 is a Physical Therapist?

Mercer Island WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Mercer Island WA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Mercer Island WA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going 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

Mercer Island WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Mercer Island WA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Mercer Island WAAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of 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 incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Mercer Island WA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Mercer Island WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it can also earn 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Mercer Island WA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, 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 Mercer Island WA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Mercer Island WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Mercer Island health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. 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 School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Mercer Island WA home. Students who have opted 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required 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 Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is available. They at least should help in securing 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 school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Mercer Island 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, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Mercer Island Washington?

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

Mercer Island, Washington

Mercer Island is a city in King County, Washington, United States located on an island of the same name in the southern portion of Lake Washington. Mercer Island is in the Seattle Metropolitan Area,[5] with Seattle located to its west and Bellevue located to its east.

Mercer Island is connected to the mainland on both sides by bridges carrying Interstate 90. The Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge and the parallel Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge are floating bridges that span Lake Washington and carry, respectively, eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate 90 and connect Mercer Island to the northern portion of Seattle's South End (more specifically, I-90 has Leschi to the north and Mount Baker to the south). I-90 traverses the northern portion of Mercer Island and is then carried from the island to Bellevue over the East Channel of Lake Washington by the East Channel Bridge. Mercer Island is located closer to Bellevue than it is to Seattle, and is therefore often considered to be part of the King County's Eastside.

The population was 25,261 in a 2017 census estimate. Mercer Island is the most populated island in a lake within the United States.[6][betterĀ sourceĀ needed] The ZIP code 98040 is unique to Mercer Island.[7] Mercer Island has the fifth highest per-capita income in the state of Washington and is one of the 100 richest ZIP codes in the USA according to the IRS figures for Adjusted Gross Income.[8]

Choose the Right Physical Therapist School near Mercer Island WA

Deciding on the right physical therapy college is an important first decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college 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 options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Mercer Island WA.

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