Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – North Bend WA

How to Choose a Physical Therapist Degree Program near North Bend 98045

North Bend WA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near North Bend WA is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?

North Bend WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as North Bend WA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other North Bend WA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

North Bend WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only 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 descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the North Bend WA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed 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 instituted.

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in North Bend WAWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, 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 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 North Bend WA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the North Bend WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you select the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few North Bend WA physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the North Bend WA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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 therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have relationships with North Bend WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the North Bend healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their North Bend WA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the North Bend WA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near North Bend Washington?

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

North Bend, Washington

Since the closure of Weyerhaeuser's Snoqualmie sawmill, North Bend has become a prosperous bedroom community for Seattle, located about 30 miles (48 km) to the west. The town was made famous by David Lynch's television series Twin Peaks, which was set and partially filmed in North Bend. North Bend is also home to Nintendo North Bend, the main North American production facility and distribution center for the video game console manufacturer Nintendo.

The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe has resided in the Snoqualmie Prairie, including the area now known as North Bend, for thousands of years. This prairie southeast of Snoqualmie Falls was the ancestral home, hunting and forage grounds for the Snoqualmie people and was located in the upper Snoqualmie Valley near the Snoqualmie River fork confluence, Mount Si and the western foothills of the Cascade Range. One of the first explorers to the upper Snoqualmie Valley was Samuel Hancock who arrived in 1851. Hancock traveled up river with his Snoqualmie guides, fording canoes around the falls to reach Snoqualmie Prairie, searching for coal deposits. He was taken to a "very extensive and fertile prairie" about two miles above Snoqualmie Falls.[5] The beautiful open grassland came to be known as the Snoqualmie Prairie; the heart of which is now known as Tollgate and Meadowbrook farms.[6] The Snoqualmies, led by Chief Patkanim, later sided with early settlers in the 1850s Indian Wars and were one of the signatory tribes of the Treaty of Point Elliott in 1855, which failed to designate an Indian reservation for the Snoqualmies. Some of the soldiers in those wars, such as the brothers and sisters Kellogg, established cabins near remaining Snoqualmie blockhouses; however the first permanent American resident in the valley was Jeremiah Borst, who arrived in 1858.[7]

After the Homestead Act of 1862, more settlers ventured to the Snoqualmie Valley, with the first families settling near Borst on the easterly end of Snoqualmie Prairie. In 1865, Matts Peterson homesteaded the site that ultimately became North Bend.[8] In 1879, Peterson sold the property to Borst and moved east of the Cascades. Borst wrote to Will Taylor, who had left the Northwest to pursue mining in California, and offered him the Peterson homestead in exchange for labor. Taylor returned and became the driving force in developing the town while expanding his property to include a thriving trading post and boarding house for travelers over Snoqualmie Pass. On February 16, 1889, with the upcoming railroad boom, Taylor formally platted a town including his farm, upcoming street plans and building lots, giving it the name Snoqualmie. [9] Later that summer competing Seattle land speculators subsequently platted nearby Snoqualmie Falls choosing a similar name. Pressured by demands of the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway to avoid confusion, Taylor reluctantly renamed his town Mountain View.[10] However, the United States Post Office Department objected to Mountain View as a town already existed in northern Whatcom County. To conclude the matter Taylor agreed to permanently rename North Bend after its prime location near the large northward bend of the South and Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River.[8] Taylor was proud of his new, thriving town, but by historical accounts "He never got over having his town name taken away".[11] North Bend was officially incorporated on March 12, 1909 and throughout the 20th century continued to grow with an early economic focus on logging, sawmill production, agricultural and dairy farming.[12]

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist College near North Bend WA

Selecting the right physical therapy school is an important first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in North Bend WA.

A Few More Interesting Locations in Washington

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