Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Ocean Park WA

How to Choose a Physical Therapy College near Ocean Park 98640

Ocean Park WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Ocean Park WA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. 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 additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are thinking about 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 simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Ocean Park WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, including Ocean Park WA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have 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 in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Ocean Park WA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Ocean Park WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Ocean Park WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Ocean Park WAWhile not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs 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 necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Ocean Park WA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs 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 option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Ocean Park WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, 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 college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Ocean Park WA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean 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 help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Ocean Park WA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a wide 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 program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Ocean Park WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Ocean Park health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Ocean Park WA residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online 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 keep 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Ocean Park WA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure 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 Ocean Park Washington?

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

Ocean Park, Washington

Ocean Park is a census-designated place (CDP) in Pacific County, Washington, United States. The population was 1,573 at the 2010 census. It is located on the Long Beach Peninsula, north of Long Beach, Washington.

Ocean Park is located at 46°29′38″N 124°2′53″W / 46.49389°N 124.04806°W / 46.49389; -124.04806 (46.493908, -124.047921).[3] It is on the Long Beach Peninsula and adjacent to Pacific Pines State Park.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.9 square miles (10.0 km²), of which, 3.0 square miles (7.9 km²) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km²) of it (21.45%) is water.

Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Ocean Park WA

Picking the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Ocean Park WA.

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