Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Shaw Island WA

How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Shaw Island 98286

Shaw Island WA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Shaw Island WA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Shaw Island WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Shaw Island WA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent 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.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Shaw Island WA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Shaw Island WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Shaw Island WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Shaw Island WAAlthough not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of 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 school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Shaw Island WA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Shaw Island WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing have earned 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 select an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Shaw Island WA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed 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 therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might 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 support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Shaw Island WA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. 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 Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Shaw Island WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Shaw Island healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Shaw Island WA residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Shaw Island WA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses 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 obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Shaw Island Washington?

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

Shaw Island

Shaw Island is the smallest of the four San Juan Islands served by the Washington State Ferries. The island has a land area of 19.952 square kilometres (7.704 square miles) and a small year-round population of 240 (2010 census). During the summer time, weekends swell with other residents and the occasional tourist. The Wilkes Expedition, in 1841, named the island after John Shaw, a United States Naval Officer.

The University of Washington also owns property throughout the island, notably the Cedar Rock Reserve on the south side of the island. The stated vision for these properties are "to maintain and restore native biodiversity and ecosystem function and to facilitate education and research that is consistent with these goals" and "to maintain important parts of the cultural landscape."[3]

Shoreline access is best at the Shaw County Park, due to its vast beachline. There are 11.5 miles (18.5 km) of asphalt and 2.37 miles (3.81 km) of gravel public roads on Shaw. The primary roads are three loops in the interior of the island, with branches to the ferry dock, Shaw Island County Park, Neck Point, and Broken Point.[citation needed]

Select the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Shaw Island WA

Picking the ideal physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program 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 appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Shaw Island WA.

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