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

How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Stanwood 98292

Stanwood WA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Stanwood WA is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest 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 what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Stanwood WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Stanwood WA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Stanwood WA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Stanwood WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Stanwood WA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can 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 typically offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.

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

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Stanwood WAWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Stanwood WA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the kind 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 considering there are numerous PT schools within the Stanwood WA area and throughout Washington, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 enroll in an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting 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 organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Stanwood WA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Washington Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Stanwood WA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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 therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Stanwood WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Stanwood medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Stanwood WA residence. Students who have decided 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. One thing 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 usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Stanwood WA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Stanwood Washington?

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

Stanwood, Washington

Stanwood is a city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States. The city is located 50 miles (80 km) north of Seattle, at the mouth of the Stillaguamish River near Camano Island. As of the 2010 census, its population is 6,231.

Stanwood was founded in 1866 as Centerville, adopting its current name in 1877 after the arrival of postmaster Daniel O. Pearson. It was platted in 1889 and incorporated as a city in 1903. The city was bypassed by the Great Northern Railway, which built a depot one mile (1.6 km) east that grew into its own separate town, incorporated in 1922 as East Stanwood. The two Stanwoods were civic rivals for several decades, until their governments were consolidated after a 1960 referendum was approved by voters.

The city was historically home to several food processing plants, which were its largest employers, and was mainly populated by Scandinavians. Since the 1990s, Stanwood has grown into a bedroom community for Seattle and Everett and has annexed uphill areas that were developed into suburban subdivisions. Stanwood is primarily served by State Route 532, which connects Camano Island to Interstate 5, and also has a train station that opened in 2009.

Pick the Right Physical Therapist School near Stanwood WA

Selecting the ideal physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You may want to go to different campuses to see 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 licensed practicing 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 selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Stanwood WA.

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