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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Palisades 98845

Palisades WA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Palisades WA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Palisades WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Palisades WA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Palisades WA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Palisades WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Palisades WA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance 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 the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Palisades WAAlthough not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy 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 necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Palisades WA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Palisades WA area and across Washington, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 enroll in an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Palisades WA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Palisades WA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional 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 differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have relationships with Palisades WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Palisades healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist 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 an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Palisades WA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Palisades WA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Palisades Washington?

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

The Palisades, Washington, D.C.

The Palisades, or simply Palisades,[1] is a neighborhood in Washington, D.C., along the Potomac River, running roughly from the edge of the Georgetown University campus (at Foxhall Road) to the D.C.-Maryland boundary (near Dalecarlia Treatment Plant). MacArthur Boulevard (once called Conduit Road) is the main thoroughfare that passes through the Palisades.

In 1893, this subdivision was laid out by the Palisades Improvement Company. The Palisades had the Great Falls Electric Railway that ran from 36th and Prospect streets out to Glen Echo. The International Athletic Park and Amusement Company secured a large block of the Palisades and constructed a Bicycle Track and General Amusement Park, which opened on Decoration Day in 1896. Also encompassed within the Palisades is the neighborhood of Potomac Heights, which is bounded by Loughboro Road at the north end, Arizona Avenue at the south end and MacArthur Boulevard and the Potomac River.

In June 1909, the Potomac Heights Land Co. (based in North Carolina) acquired 75 acres (300,000 m2) previously known as the Athletic Park tract at the reported cost of $1000 an acre. The tract extends parallel with and between Conduit Road and the Potomac. It is divided by the Washington Railway and Electric Company, which ran from Georgetown to Glen Echo for a 5 cent fare. There were 800 lots at $450–$500 per lot and no home was to be erected at less than $2500.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Palisades WA

Picking the right physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that many variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Palisades WA.

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