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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program near Shelton 98584

Shelton WA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Shelton WA is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?

Shelton WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, including Shelton WA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have 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 in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Shelton WA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

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

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as 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 be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required 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 overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Shelton WAWhile not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Shelton WA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Shelton WA area and across Washington, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier stated, 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 college, 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 just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to 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 look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Shelton WA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Shelton WA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Washington or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have relationships with Shelton WA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Shelton medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Shelton WA residence. Those 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 importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Shelton WA area, confirm 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, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Shelton Washington?

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

Shelton, Washington

Shelton is the county seat of Mason County, Washington, United States.[5] Shelton is the westernmost city on Puget Sound. The population was 9,834 at the 2010 census. In terms of population, the city is ranked 161 out of approximately 500 municipalities in Washington. Shelton has council-manager form of government.

Shelton was once served by a small fleet of steamboats which was part of the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet. These boats included the Old Settler, Irene, Willie, City of Shelton, Marian, Clara Brown, and S.G. Simpson.[7] The economy was built around logging, farming, dairying and ranching as well as oyster cultivation.[6] The Simpson Timber Company mill on Puget Sound's Oakland Bay dominated the landscape of the downtown area; the mill was sold to Sierra Pacific Industries in 2015, who are currently building a new mill.[8] Shelton also identifies itself as the "Christmas Tree Capital".

Shelton was incorporated in the 1890s. It was the last city in Washington to use a mayor/commission form of government. In November 2017, the voters of Shelton adopted a manager/council form of municipal governance.

Pick the Best Physical Therapist School near Shelton WA

Deciding on the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the health care 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 be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Shelton WA.

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