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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Puyallup 98371

Puyallup WA physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Puyallup WA is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to make sure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Puyallup WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, including Puyallup 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Puyallup WA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Puyallup WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Puyallup WA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and often 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Puyallup WAAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Puyallup WA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Puyallup WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Puyallup WA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college selections. 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 submitted against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Puyallup WA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Puyallup WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Puyallup healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Puyallup WA residence. Those who have chosen 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 concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Puyallup WA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Puyallup Washington?

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

Puyallup, Washington

Puyallup, Washington (/pjuːˈæləp/ ( listen) pew-AL-əp or /pjuːˈɔːləp/ pew-AWL-əp) is a city in Pierce County, Washington, about 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Tacoma[5] and 35 miles (56 km) south of Seattle.[6] The population was 37,022 at the 2010 Census and the Washington State Office of Financial Management estimated the 2014 population at 38,670. Named after the Puyallup Tribe of Native Americans, Puyallup means "the generous people". It is also home to the Washington State Fair, the state's main fair.

In 1833, The Puyallup Valley was a maze of creeks and old forest growth. It was subjected to frequent floods and massive log jams from the meandering river. The first white settlers were part of the first wagon train to cross the Cascades at Naches Pass in 1853.[7] Native Americans numbered about 2,000 in what is now the Puyallup Valley in the 1830s and 1840s. The first European settlers arrived in the 1850s. In 1877, Ezra Meeker platted a townsite and named it Puyallup after the local Puyallup Indian tribes. The town grew rapidly throughout the 1880s and was incorporated in 1890, the first mayor being Ezra Meeker. The turn of the 20th century brought change to the valley with the growth of nearby Tacoma and the interurban rail lines. The Western Washington Fairgrounds were developed giving local farmers a place to exhibit their crops and livestock. During the early part of World War II, the fairgrounds were part of Camp Harmony, a temporary Japanese American internment camp for more than 7,000 detainees, most of whom were American citizens. Subsequently, they were moved to the Minidoka relocation center near Twin Falls, Idaho.[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.04 square miles (36.36 km2), of which 13.93 square miles (36.08 km2) is land and 0.11 square miles (0.28 km2) is water, mainly consisting of the Puyallup River estuary.[1]

Choose the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Puyallup WA

Selecting the best physical therapy program is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize 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 field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Puyallup WA.

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