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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Westport 98595

Westport WA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Westport WA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about 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 is a Physical Therapist?

Westport WA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, including Westport WA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Westport WA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Westport WA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Westport WA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several 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 offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Westport WAWhile not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so 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 requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Westport WA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Westport WA area and across Washington, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 enroll in an online school, it can also obtain 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. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Westport WA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It might 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 School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Westport WA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have associations with Westport WA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Westport health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

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

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Westport WA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Westport WA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Westport Washington?

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

Westport, Washington

Westport is a city in Grays Harbor County, Washington, United States. The city's population was 2,099 at the 2010 census. It is located on a peninsula on the south side of the entrance to Grays Harbor from the Pacific Ocean.

The public Westport Marina is the largest marina on the outer coast of the United States's Pacific Northwest. The marina is home to a large commercial fishing fleet and several recreational charter fishing vessels. A summer-only passenger ferry, discontinued in 2008, previously connected the town to Ocean Shores, across the mouth of the harbor to the north.

Westport was officially incorporated on June 26, 1914. Names for the area in the past include Peterson's Point, Chehalis City, and Fort Chehalis. The latter name is for a U.S. Army fort established in 1860 before the town was founded, "ts-a-lis" is the Lower Chehalis word for Westport, meaning "place of sand". Early explorers pronounced the word "Chehalis" and gave this name to the river and the people living up river who later became the Chehalis people or "People of the Sands". The area was used regularly during the summer by local Native American tribes (most likely the Shoalwater Bay Tribe, comprising Willapa Chinook and Lower Chehalis people) before Thomas Barker Speake and his family arrived early in the summer of 1857. Westport is also the home to a station for the US Coast Guard. In 2015, the Ocosta School District became the first to build a publicly funded vertical tsunami shelter, located at Ocosta Elementary School.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Westport WA

Picking the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve 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 best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Westport WA.

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