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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist School near Ocean Shores 98569

Ocean Shores WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Ocean Shores WA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important 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 cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Ocean Shores WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Ocean Shores WA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop 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.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Ocean Shores WA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into 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 Therapist Degrees Available

Ocean Shores WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Ocean Shores WA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may 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 made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want 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 complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 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 requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Ocean Shores WAWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Ocean Shores WA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Ocean Shores WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 choose an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Ocean Shores WA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It might also be prudent to contact the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Ocean Shores WA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Washington or the state where you will be working. In each 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, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Ocean Shores WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Ocean Shores health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at 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 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 many students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Ocean Shores WA residence. Students who have chosen 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. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges 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 must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Ocean Shores WA area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Ocean Shores Washington?

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

Ocean Shores, Washington

The City of Ocean Shores occupies the Point Brown peninsula on the Washington coast. Long before the arrival of European explorers and settlers, the peninsula was used by the various local tribes for trading and other purposes. The Chinook, Chehalis, and Quinault Tribes used the area, as well as others that now make up the Quinault Indian Nation.

On May 7, 1792 Captain Robert Gray sailed into the bay and named the area Bullfinch Harbor. Later, Captain George Vancouver renamed the area after Captain Gray, now called Gray's Harbor. The first white established settler on the Point was Matthew McGee, who settled in the early 1860s. He sold the southern portion of the peninsula to A.O. Damon in 1878 for a trading supply center whose dock extended into the Oyehut channel. A.O. Damon took over the entire peninsula from McGee with the land passed along to his grandson, Ralph Minard, who used the area as a cattle ranch from 1929 until he sold to the Ocean Shores Development Corporation in 1960 for $1,000,000.

At the time the Washington State legislature was considering legalizing some forms of gambling. In expectation of a huge casino development, the Ocean Shores Development Corporation opened their sale of lots in a travel trailer parked in the dunes. Soon the word spread about the California-style development of the place called Ocean Shores. The price of lots began at $595 and were sold sight unseen from the first plat maps. As the numbers of lots sold rose, the prices rose. Property lots were staked and numbered only as the road construction crews began to lay out the massive road system. Even though the first roads were only 20 miles (32 km) in length, the downtown area had mercury vapor lights to show that this was a booming city. In the first year 25 homes were constructed and their owners had charter membership certificates in the Ocean Shores Community Club.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Ocean Shores WA

Picking the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach 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 field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Ocean Shores WA.

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