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

How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Snohomish 98290

Snohomish WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Snohomish WA is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. 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 what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Snohomish WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Snohomish WA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Snohomish WA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. 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 routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

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

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can 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 programs are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.

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 United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Snohomish WAAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Snohomish WA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and costs 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 alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Snohomish WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Snohomish WA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Snohomish WA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports 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 college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate 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 exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Snohomish WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent 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 students and graduates establish professional connections in the Snohomish healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Snohomish WA home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Snohomish WA area, check that they are offered. 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 carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Snohomish Washington?

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

Snohomish, Washington

Snohomish is a city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States. The population was 9,098 at the 2010 census. The mayor of Snohomish is John T. Kartak[5] and the City Administrator is Steve Schuller.[6] Snohomish prides itself for its historical downtown, and is known for its many antique shops. Snohomish is also referred to as the "Antique Capital of the Northwest."[7] The historic business and residential center of the town constitutes the Snohomish Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many houses bear plaques with the year the house was built and the name of the people who originally occupied it. Each year the city gives tours of the historic houses; one of them, the Blackman House, is a year-round museum. A general aviation airfield, Harvey Airfield, is less than one mile southwest of downtown Snohomish.

Snohomish was founded around 1858[8] by Emory C. Ferguson, E. F. Cady and others. It was originally known as Cadyville,[9] and changed its name to Snohomish City in 1871. The name Snohomish comes from the name of the dominant local Native American tribe "sdoh-doh-hohbsh", whose meaning is widely disputed.

One of the first inland cities in the Puget Sound region, Snohomish was built where a planned military road connecting Fort Steilacoom and Fort Bellingham was set to cross the Snohomish River. The road, proposed in the wake of the Pig War, was intended to be built far enough inland to be safe from British naval attacks. Although the road was never completed, Snohomish quickly became a center of commerce in the expanding region.[9][10] In 1861, Snohomish County separated from Island County and the Village of Snohomish was voted the county seat. It remained so until 1897 when the county seat was relocated to the larger, yet much newer neighboring city of Everett, Washington after a controversial and contested county-wide vote.[10]

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Snohomish WA

Selecting the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Snohomish WA.

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