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

How to Select a Physical Therapy Program near Renton 98055

Renton WA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Renton WA is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Renton WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Renton WA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Renton WA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Renton WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Renton WA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 total commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Renton WAWhile not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Renton WA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Renton WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 choose an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have outstanding 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 can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Renton WA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. 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 submitted against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Renton WA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Renton WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on experience 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 connections in the Renton medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Renton WA home. Students who have opted 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. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Renton WA area, make sure 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 need 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 Renton Washington?

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

Renton, Washington

Renton is a city in King County, Washington, and an inner-ring suburb of Seattle. Situated 11 miles (18 km) southeast of downtown Seattle, Renton straddles the southeast shore of Lake Washington, at the mouth of the Cedar River.

After a long history as an important salmon fishing area for Native Americans, Renton was first settled by people of European descent in the 1860s, and its early economy was based on coal mining, clay production, and timber export. Today, Renton is best known as the final assembly point for the Boeing 737 family of commercial airplanes, but it is also home to a growing number of well known manufacturing, technology, and healthcare organizations, including Boeing Commercial Airplanes Division, Paccar, Kaiser Permanente, IKEA, Providence Health & Services, and Wizards of the Coast. As of 2016, the population in Renton is 101,300,[5] up from 90,927 at the 2010 census. Renton currently is the eighth-largest city in Washington and is the fourth largest in King County. The National Football League's Seattle Seahawks have a training facility in Renton, which is the second-largest facility in the NFL at 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2).

Among the first European settlers in the present-day Renton area were Henry Tobin and his wife Diana. The town of Renton was accessed via the Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad, the first railroad to be built to Seattle, and was in the vicinity of several coal mines that attracted entrepreneurs like Erasmus M. Smithers, who is credited with the founding and establishment of the town in 1875.[6] Smithers named Renton in honor of Captain William Renton, a local lumber and shipping merchant who invested heavily in the coal trade.[7] Smithers discovered coal there and brought in Charles D. Shattuck as the coal mine operator.

Choose the Best Physical Therapy School near Renton WA

Choosing the best physical therapy school is an important first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to view their facilities and speak with active 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 adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Renton WA.

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