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

How to Pick a Physical Therapist Program near Seahurst 98062

Seahurst WA physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Seahurst WA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Seahurst WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Seahurst WA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen 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:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Seahurst WA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 Offered

Seahurst WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single 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 readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Seahurst WA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep 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 initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to 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 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Seahurst WAWhile not as common as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure 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 an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Seahurst WA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Seahurst WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at 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 select an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure 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? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Seahurst WA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Seahurst WA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important 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) 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 number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have associations with Seahurst WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Seahurst medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Seahurst WA residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program 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 frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools 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 must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Seahurst 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 courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol 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 Seahurst Washington?

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

Highline Public Schools

Highline Public Schools is a public school system in the State of Washington, headquartered in Burien.[1] As of October 2007, it serves 17,331 students and has 997 teachers. Highline serves the cities of Burien, Des Moines, and SeaTac as well as areas of unincorporated King County such as White Center and Boulevard Park.

Highline consists of four main "service areas", Evergreen, Highline, Mount Rainier, and Tyee, which once represented the district's four high schools. Students in the Highline and Mount Rainier service areas generally attend the area's high school; students in the Evergreen and Tyee service areas attend one of the service area's three small schools. Each service area also contains one middle school which acts as a feeder to the area's high school(s). The four service areas are further divided into separate areas corresponding to the district's elementary schools, which also act as feeders to the area's middle school.

The district's current superintendent is Susan Enfield. The school board consists of five members: Bernie Dorsey (Board President), Michael D. Spear (Vice President), Joe Van, Angelica Alvarez and Tyrone Curry Sr.

Pick the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Seahurst WA

Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve 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 options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Seahurst WA.

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